What is the relationship between SEOMERS and MANUP?
Are you familiar with MANUP? The charity was founded by Dan Somers (our owner) back in 2019 and is now a registered mental health charity. The idea came from Dan, but it’s not just him. Dan has Steve (brand director) and a team of trustees, along with two ambassadors.
As a result, he came up with an idea for breaking the stigma around men and mental health. In 2019, it was supposed to be a one-time event to spark debate, but a few things happened along the way. Among other things, he didn’t get as many numbers as he wanted.
During the event, the Orwell Bridge was closed for a few minutes, which caused some people to change their minds and stay at home. It was a Sunday, after all. Due to a person’s mental health, the bridge was closed… Dan was struck by something. When we held an event that attempted to change minds about mental health less than 3 miles away, yet someone felt alone, how can that be possible? There would be a different ending to this story but thankfully we only have this one to tell.
In 2020, Dan wanted to run again. Having found a new venue, he decided to try something different. Everything went according to plan, dates, venues, he made friends, but then COVID hit.
The event had to be moved several times.
Everyone was talking about lockdowns, facemasks, and bickering, but no one was talking about mental health. Using the ‘MANUP’ event page, he decided to hold group Zoom calls. It was intended to have weekly Zoom videos of men talking about mental health, life, and solutions.
Things began to take hold after a few weeks. We were asked for advice that we were unable to provide. Charities started contacting us, it was like MANUP? got men talking with each other. After that, we began doing one-on-one videos.
Is there a reason we moved MANUP? In addition to converting an event into a ‘thing,’ we built a website and expanded our social media outreach. We didn’t bother with being PC, we refused to script videos, we banned brand promotions, we didn’t let anyone use MANUP? for any business purposes.
The topic of mental health was the focus of our discussion. Rarely do we discuss mental health conditions; rather, we bounce around the issue…the purpose was to show what others did to get out of whatever mental health bind they were in.
MANUP? came into existence. Dan decided that it must be its own thing. There were some great people who helped in the videos, there were others who helped with the artwork, and we had many people sharing and commenting.
MANUP? took up time that Dan didn’t have. MANUP? The project was funded by SEOMERS, which caused a few small disagreements within the company. We had nothing to lose, but we had to take action and that meant un-linking SEOMERS & MANUP?. MANP? needed to wash its own face…… the charity was born.
MANUP? Today, it is one of the leading men’s mental health charities in England and Wales. One thing is for sure, breaking away was the right decision. Breaking the stigma surrounding men’s mental health is what the charity aims to do.
MANUP? We used the tools & experience to help it turn from an idea into a registered charity that is changing lives. The program, however, is run by Dan Somers and but is no longer affiliated with SEOMERS.
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