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Male Vulnerability:
Masculinity, masks and manhood

On November 21st we discussed men's mental health, masculinity, manhood and the need to be vulnerable.

Where: Our conversation was streamed live from The Den - Millwall FC's iconic Stadium. But, you can watch it, from the comfort of your sofa, on our Man Hub 


When we mask our emotions with ‘man up’ mentally and other stereotypical ideas of what it means to be a man, we suppress our vulnerability and instead turn to other avenues (such as drinks, drugs and aggression) and then become stuck in a cycle of self-destruction.

This affects men from all social backgrounds and all ages.

During this discussion we'll look at masculinity, masks and manhood. What it means to ‘be a man’ in the modern world and the impact that has on men's mental health.


In a raw and authentic conversation at The Den, Millwall FC’s iconic Stadium, our panel of captivating speakers will come together to open up about their own lived experience. They will share how they found their safe space to be vulnerable and the tried and tested strategies that allowed them to embrace their masculinity and triggered their recovery.


Our Speakers


Simon Thomas

Simon Thomas 

Former Blue Peter and Sky Sports presenter, Simon Thomas, talks openly about grief, mental health, parenthood and sobriety. After his first wife was tragically diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia and passed away just three days after diagnosis, Simon devoted his time to raising his son.


More recently, he has announced that his new wife Derrina has given birth eight weeks early after falling rapidly ill from preeclampsia and opened up about his personal decision to stop drinking.


Simon is now dedicated to helping others by talking about his own experiences with mental health and how to cope with grief.


Rhys Thomas

Rhys Thomas

Rhys Thomas is a former Wales international rugby player. When he was 29, he almost died from a heart attack during a training session with the Scarlets rugby team, which forced Rhys to retire immediately.


The doctors gave him two choices. 12 months to live or get an artificial pump fitted. This led to an eight-year period of trauma, challenging personal life circumstances and a battle with alcohol addiction.


Now 2 years sober, and waiting for a heart transplant, Rhys talks about resilience, athlete transition, mental health, overcoming fear, victim to growth mindset, addition & recovery, perspective, and finding purpose.




Shocka shot to fame at a young age in a band called Marvel. They toured with Chipmunk, Rhianna and supported other prominent artists. The group then released a single that underperformed. Accustomed to dizzying heights and success Shocka's mental health was hit badly and, following a quick downward spiral, Shocka ended up being sectioned in 2012.

Since then, Shocka has focused on using music as a space to be vulnerable and has released various tracks on mental health - one of which, 'self-love' speaks about how self-love is part of the cure for mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and low self-image.


Scarlett Clark

Scarlett V Clark

Scarlett Clark is the award-winning founder of the UK's number one female empowerment organisation. Smart Girl Tribe boasts a top-rated podcast, bestselling book The Smart Girls Handbook, successful event series and was runner-up in the Mental Health organisation awards.


Scarlett has personally worked with HeforShe, UN Women, the Houses of Parliament and the British Council. As well as being regularly featured on TV and in major publications including the Daily Mail, Cosmopolitan, Stylist and the Metro. She is an ambassador for the NSPCC, female empowerment expert for Harvard University and UK delegate for the United Nations.

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