In the UK, 12.5 per cent of men are suffering with a mental health related issue and suicide is the biggest killer of men under the age of 45.

Pwrpas (the Welsh word for purpose) was set up to raise awareness of the mental health challenges faced by men, whilst offering valuable support for those in need. It provides a single reference point for men who may be feeling under pressure and not sure what help is available to them and the primary aims of Pwrpas are:

To raise awareness of the mental health challenges faced by men.

To engage with men and encourage conversation.

To signpost men to appropriate support.

The longer term aim of Pwrpas is to help men to recognise and acknowledge their problems and then begin the process of doing something about them.

The charity was conceived by Julian Hughes, a prominent advocate of adult education and training. Having worked extensively with third sector organisations, ex-service personnel and ex-offenders across the UK, Julian has first-hand experience of the issues many men face when seeking training and employment opportunities.

Due to the pandemic in particular, Julian has seen men from all walks of life struggle with the strict lockdown restrictions, which for many resulted in isolation and the loss of active employment.

Reflecting on the first few months of the initial lockdown, he said: “As we went into lockdown, I was adamant I was going to use the time to do something constructive; something that would make a difference.

“Having experienced mental health challenges from an early age and witnessed the devastating impact it has had on the lives of other men around me, I decided that this was going to be the focus of my attention.

“With the help of an amazing group of friends, I was able to set up Pwrpas as a charity and coordinate the development of a website that offers a user-friendly, single-reference point that could help men to improve their mental health.”

But why the name Pwrpas (Purpose)?

A growing body of research is finding that a strong sense of purpose typically results in better mental health outcomes. For many, the pandemic has resulted in the loss of employment, socialisation, physical activity and overall direction.

Julian believes having a sense of purpose is fundamental to our general wellbeing.

My Taid, a proud Welshman, would often tell me that we all need a ’pwrpas‘ in life to be happy,” Julian said.

Having spent much of his career supporting disadvantaged people back into the workplace with the belief that training and personal development is a panacea, Julian said: "We are currently working with a number of like-minded charities with whom we can work to reach and help a wider audience”.

It is evident from our discussions that such collaborations could bring a wealth of benefits to individuals and communities across Wales, including social and economic advantages."

During this Mental Health awareness week, please help us raise funds to continue our fight to spread awareness about MENtal health and signpost the support that is out there.


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