With the first ANDYSMANCLUB in London opening imminently, we sat down with Perry Ashby, the CEO of Urban Network – a company who have helped us make inroads into the capital – about the potential impact opening a group in London could have!
How did you first hear of ANDYSMANCLUB and the work AMC is doing?
Urban Network’s first introduction to AMC was via one of their trustees, Leon McQuade, who is also a member of the Network Group, the UK’s leading technical community, where our CEO, Perry Ashby, holds the Chairman position.
PA: “We were deeply concerned to learn that one in eight men in the UK suffers from a mental health problem and that three-quarters of all suicides in the UK were men. We knew we wanted to be part of ensuring the voice of AMC was heard in the south of the UK, and do our bit in supporting the charity to reduce these shocking statistics.”
How much of a need do you think there is for a group like ANDYSMANCLUB in London?
PA: “London is such an amazing city. In our opinion, it’s the best city in the world! But it is also one of the most pressurised environments in which to work. Even the daily commute can take its toll and raise your stress levels.
A safe and welcoming environment, like that which AMC offers, may make the difference between someone being able to talk about their problems, or family and friends only finding out about them when it’s too late. Suicide is the biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK – AMC is working to counteract that, and we are fully behind them in this aim.”
Have you experienced any stigma related to mental health?
PA: “Our industry is predominantly male and with this, there is always an element of bravado. People might say everything is great with them, but often it may not be so great. It can be hard to open up and say to someone that you are struggling to cope or are worried about a particular issue, for fear of what they may think. The more we talk about men’s mental health, the more normalised it will become and this will help to remove the stigma.”
What led you to the decision to support AMC?
PA: “Urban Network is committed to making sure that there is someone, somewhere that is available to listen to you, should you ever need them. AMC fully fits that value and therefore we are very proud to help their message be heard.”
Want to find out more about Urban Network? Head to their website.