Bray student prepares for charity boxing match for mental health services, urges young people to ‘speak up’

Shane Mangan is undertaking a gruelling 8-week fight camp before he takes on his biggest challenge yet – a white collar boxing match to raise funds for Mental Health Ireland.

Shane appeared on East Coast FM yesterday to promote the fight and urge young people to ‘speak up’ when they find themselves suffering through their mental health.

On the subject of a ‘white collar boxing match’, Shane explained that it is a boxing match for beginners which includes headgear and 16 Oz gloves, which he described as like “a pillow fight.” It will be his first ever boxing match.

Shane said “Boxing is often associated with a form of stress relief, and I just thought it was quite fitting considering that I want to do a fundraiser for mental health, so I just thought the two complimented each other quite well. So that’s why I chose boxing.

Shane also spoke about his own struggles with mental health, which was a driving factor in his mission to help guide other young people who are facing the same struggles as he did.

“It’s different for everbody, and everybody has a different journey and it’s unique to everyone. Me, personally, I was lost in myself. I wasn’t in full control of my emotions and I just didn’t feel like myself. I knew something was wrong but couldn’t quite place my finger on what it was.”

While he struggled with stress and low moods for a long time, it was when his girlfriend Kayla noticed a tiny bald patch on his head, a symptom of alopecia areata, that Shane began to take action.

Alopecia areata can be caused by numerous health issues, but in Shane’s case, it was due to the stress that was engulfing him. The disease is caused when the immune system attacks the hair follicles, a physical manifestation of his declining mental health.

It was at this point that Shane realised that it wasn’t enough for him to be physically fit – he would have to confront his mental health issues as well.

Shane’s first step on his journey was to seek out therapy and air out his feelings, allowing him to deal with unresolved traumas and issues from his past. These sessions allowed Shane to further interrogate his feelings, leading to a breakthrough that has both made him a healthier person and spurred him on to encourage other young people to speak up as well.

After an 8-week training camp, Shane will then participate in his first ever white collar boxing match, and all the while he will be raising money via a GoFundMe and speaking candidly about mental health while encouraging others to join in.

You can donate to Shane’s GoFundMe Fighting Stigmas Associated with Mental Health by clicking here.

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