A Cork man has completed a 100-day challenge to promote the importance of men talking about mental health.
Kevin O’Keeffe who hails from Cobh, completed a personal 100-day endurance challenge, which enabled him to raise over €3,000 for Aware, a charity that provides support, education and information to those impacted by depression, bipolar disorder and related mood conditions.
Kevin, a Senior Asset Engineer with Gas Networks Ireland, has first-hand experience of the importance of Aware’s work.
Having struggled with his own mental health in the recent past, Kevin sought help last November through his employer’s employee assistance programme.
Kevin wants more men to talk.
“I’m not ashamed to say I sought help and having come out the other side I want to do my bit in destigmatising mental health issues. I also want to encourage people, particularly men, to talk,” Kevin said.
Kevin wanted to give something back which prompted him to take on a tough physical challenge. He set himself two targets at the start of summer, to train every day for 100 days and to raise money for Aware.
The Cork man spent countless hours in the gym, ran over 400 kilometres, attended numerous spinning classes and even climbed Carrauntoohil twice during his training regime over the last four months.
Having successfully completed the 100 days of training, Kevin is delighted to have raised over €3,000 for Aware.
“Apart from reaching my targets and being fitter, what really struck me was how my friends and colleagues began opening up and talking about their own struggles. So, whether it’s a pat on the back or a walk with a friend, this International Men’s Day, I encourage anyone in need, especially men, to reach out and seek the support to look after their mental health.”
International Men’s Day, which is being marked today, celebrates the positive value men bring to the world, their families, and communities. It aims to highlight positive role models and raise awareness of men’s well-being.
Nicola McSweeney, Head of Human Resources at Gas Networks Ireland paid tribute to Kevin for his selfless work. “Kevin has achieved so much, both physically and in the funds raised for Aware. We congratulate Kevin on his terrific achievement and thank all those who supported him along his journey.”