Men’s Health Week with Oris Ikomi

Welcome to the 42nd episode of the Diverse Minds podcast, and it’s Men’s Health Week this week: running from the 15th to the 21st of June. 

The aim of Men’s Health Week is to raise awareness of health issues that affect men disproportionately. As well as focusing on men to become more aware of health problems they may have or could develop, and gain the courage to do something about it. 

So in essence, the three areas are to:

  • support men and boys to engage in healthier lifestyle choices and activities; 
  • encourage the early detection and treatment of health difficulties in males and
  • heighten awareness of preventable mental health problems for males of all ages. 

This year’s theme is “Take action on COVID-19”, and I wanted to focus on how the pandemic has affected men’s mental health in some way, especially as more men have died as a result of COVID-19 than women., I wanted to discuss mental health impacts going forward, and what men can do to support their own mental health. 

Listen to the episode

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About my guest

Oris is an eclectic individual with a keen interest in self-development. He currently works for a social mobility charity that connects young people aged 6-18 with financial and professional related services firms in the city of London. 

He has also worked with leading brands, and UK universities to engage and develop graduates and undergraduates from Black, Asian and Minority ethnic groups.  

Born in Nigeria, Oris moved to the UK in 2000 aged 17 and is 1 of 9 siblings. When he is not working, Oris spends his past times reading books about psychology, mind, and metaphysics.

In today’s show, we talk about:

  • About Oris’ leadership journey and how he ended up doing the work he currently does.  [02:34]
  • The biggest challenges for men’s health in general. [08:11]
  • Some cultural challenges about talking about mental health. [18:25]
  • His top three tips for looking after his mental and physical health. [11:09]
  • The types of mental health support that should be available for men of all ages. [25:58]

Quotes related to Men’s Health Week: 

  • Mental health and mental illness are two different things.
  • It’s harder for men over 60 because they become more isolated from society as they get older.
  • There’s a negative connotation about expressing yourself as a man. Expressing your feelings about what you’re actually going through is seen as weak and negative.
  • We’re still living under the concept of being a man from hundreds of years ago, which came as a result of whatever was happening in that era. 
  • Growing up where I did in Nigeria, you just got on with life and it wasn’t an environment where you speak about how you are feeling.  
  • We don’t have to, and we don’t need to identify with things that are not fundamentally who we are.
  • Believing in God meant we had resilience, but it also meant if you spoke about mental-ill health that you didn’t believe in God. Which is not the case.  
  • One of the best things I do for my mental health is walking, running and cycling


Connect with my guest

Oris on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

Work with me

Have a workplace challenge you want to work through? 

60 minutes for Organisations and Wellbeing £120 (incl VAT) 

This video call is for anyone responsible for wellbeing and employee engagement in their organisation. Maybe you need an expert to bounce ideas off or a sense of what other organisations have done that works. 

This video call will enable you to:

  • Generate practical and easy ideas for mental health, diversity and inclusion projects/programmes you may be working on.
  • Learn how to obtain optimum buy-in for your work and projects.
  • Manage your stakeholders for maximum support.
  • Communicate your vision with impact on your wider team and organisation.
  • Think about what’s most important to you right now to achieve your goals.

Book your slot here:

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Subscribe to the podcast 

If you enjoyed this episode, then consider subscribing on Apple podcast, Spotify or wherever you access your podcasts from.

You can also connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. 

Remember to tune in to next week’s episode, where I’ll bring you more insights into mental health and inclusion.

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