New campaign: Be Proud, Be Strong, Be Mentally Healthy

27 April, 2024 | News
Let’s talk about mental health. Let’s help each other to become prouder, stronger and mentally healthy.

Mental health struggle is something very real and we all might experience mental health issues or moments when we’re not feeling well. Research shows, people within the queer community are twice as likely to struggle with mental health. This can occur from events that happened at an early age. For example: lack of acceptance, religious restrictions and requirements, internal struggles, not feeling comfortable in your own body and much more.

Together we can contribute to more people getting better mental health – maybe even ourselves! Join and contribute to the “Be Proud, Be Strong, Be Mentally Healthy” campaign organized by Mr Gay Europe’s Tim Küsters.

When a person feels that they are alone, that they have no one to lean on, no one to talk to, no one to confide in, it poses a serious challenge to their mental health.

Surveys on living conditions show that queer people struggle with mental illness more often than straight people. In addition to having to cope with everyday life and life’s small and large challenges like all other people, we are also a minority in the society, some of us are even minorities within the minority, and this can really be a challenge for mental health.

Being human sometimes feels very complicated. Emotions and hormones are difficult to keep track of, and in addition we are surrounded by demands and expectations for just being a social person.

Share your worries

A wise person once said that if you share it will be twice as big, if you share worries, they will be half as big. This is of course a truth with modifications, but if there is one thing that helps more than anything else against mental challenges, it is talking together. But to do that, you must have someone to talk to.

Keep in mind, “talking” does not necessarily have to be a face-to-face conversation, it can just as easily be contact via social media, via email or texting or chatting.

On the other hand, not everyone necessarily needs to talk to someone. It can be enough to know that you are not alone or that others have experienced the same thing that you are going through.

This month, Mr Gay Europe’s Tim Küsters launches his campaign “Be Proud, Be Strong, Be Mentally Healthy” – and it is primarily about talking about metal health and about talking to each other.

The Mr Gay Europe familiy

From the very first time Mr Gay Europe was organized during EuroPride in Oslo in 2005, we have always described the participants, the producers and those who have worked as volunteers as “the Mr Gay Europe family”. We have had participants who have been trans men, we have had people with disabilities, with different beliefs, skin colour and age, and some also have had psychological challenges.

Sometimes it is enough just to acknowledge that you “see” the other person, give a hug or talk together. Other times the challenges are a little bigger and then it’s a good idea to talk to professionals.

“Be Proud, Be Strong, Be Mentally Healthy” is about “seeing” each other, talking together and maybe giving someone a really good hug.

In an environment that can sometimes be a little too concerned with appearance, body pressure and attitudes, it can be difficult to get into a conversation with someone. “Dating apps” with short messages and a focus on sexual preferences and things you don’t like, don’t make things any better.

Tim and the rest of us at Mr Gay Europe believe in sharing. Share the sorrows and the joys. We believe that we at the end will come out stronger on the other side.

Feel free to contact Tim to ask him to come and speak about “Be Proud, Be Strong, Be Mentally Healthy” at Pride where you live, at a meeting you organize etc.


Would you like to contribute?

The simplest is sometimes the best. And even if some will think it’s a bit naive, let’s start with something simple. Here’s a checklist for how you can “Be Proud, Be Strong, Be Mentally Healthy”.

  • The next time you’re out on the town, smile at someone who looks like they need a boost. You don’t need to flirt; a smile can just be a smile.
  • The next time you are out on the town with one or more friends, take the time to include another person in the conversation.
  • Do you have a friend you haven’t spoken to for a long time? Send a message via social media or SMS. “I suddenly thought of you today. It is a long time ago. How are you?”
  • Do you have someone you know who you could call? Someone who has a birthday? Or someone you want to tell that it’s been a long time since you talked?
  • Share and comment on the Mr Gay Europe Facebook page. Tim and the Mr Gay Europe team will in the weeks to come be posting links and posts that you are welcome to get involved with.
  • Send us a short video (maximum 60 seconds) in which you share your thoughts about feeling lonely and feel free to come up with tips on how to overcome loneliness.
  • Next time you are online and post a positive image or comment, use the hashtag #cherishthemoment. Let’s say that it is our “secret” sign that you want to contribute, help, share and be someone people can talk to. And please tag @mrgayeurope if you feel for it.
  • And the simplest of all things: Be nice and kind on social media. Give someone you wouldn’t normally comment on a compliment.

Join the Family!