By Lucy Ashton
A Project Manager from the West of Scotland Innovation Hub is taking on a series of fitness challenges to raise funds throughout Movember, while promoting mental health and suicide prevention awareness.
Rasheeq Syed is a long-time supporter of the charity and has raised almost £8,000 through various fundraising activities over the years.
The 31-year-old has learned from his own experiences about the importance of talking about mental health, supporting others, getting support when needed and removing the stigma that can still exist when it comes to discussions around mental health.
As the world continues to deal with the impact of Covid-19, Rasheeq firmly believes there has never been a more important time to be aware of mental health.
He said: “I have been supporting Movember for over a decade and have always been passionate about promoting mental health awareness and removing the stigma that has been associated with talking about the subject.
“On a personal level, I have had my own mental health concerns and have suffered from depression. The last few years have been so difficult for all of us, I lost my mum to Covid-19 and that was really hard. She was a fit and healthy 50-year-old and it came as such a shock, it’s still hard to process.
“I was born in Bangladesh and still have family there, so travelling there and speaking about my mum with our family was tough, but it’s important that we talk about how we feel. I have been a long-term advocate for raising mental health awareness, particularly in the South Asian community, as it can often still be regarded as a taboo subject, especially among men.”
Every November the Movember Foundation encourages people to fundraise and raise awareness about men’s health issues including prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health and suicide prevention. Supporters can get involved by growing a moustache and, like Rasheeq, they can also and take part in various physical activities and challenges throughout the month.
Rasheeq’s colleagues from the West of Scotland Innovation Hub, which is hosted by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, are also supporting him by joining in with some of his activities.
He said: “The concept is interesting as it encourages people to join you for activities, which can be so beneficial for mental health. It’s great to have members of the Hub joining in too.
“I have even been able to do some of the challenges with friends from around the world virtually. Friends as far as Mexico and Australia have joined me to take part, we all have busy lives but this idea means anyone can get involved for as long as they are able too.”
“This year I’m hoping to raise another £1,000 for Movember through my fundraising and then I’ll have a think about what I can do next year!”
You can support Rasheeq and Movember by donating at his fundraising page.