Aaron standing outside Sams Barbers in Dublin, arms folded, looking at camera
Military man and Mo Bro Aaron talks mental health at Sam's barbersImage by: Amy O'sullivan
Aaron standing outside Sams Barbers in Dublin, arms folded, looking at camera
Aaron sat in a barber chair looking down camera
Tattoo of a moustache on Aarons arm
1 June 2023

Why I Mo: Military man Mo Bro Aaron

3 minutes read time

Serving Irish military member, Aaron Crampton from Dublin, shares with us why he joined the Frontline Mo Bros team in Ireland.

Growing up, I always thought to myself that I wouldn’t be someone who needed to ask for help. I had the attitude instilled in me that men sort out their own problems and just carry on. Asking for help when I realised I needed it was like a ton of bricks being lifted off my shoulders and the best decision I made.

After some family issues, a domestic incident with trauma, I took to the drink. It started as heavily drinking at the weekend. This felt normal, but eventually I couldn’t go from week-to-week without a drink or a heavy binge.

The progression of my drinking took me by surprise. The more I drank, the more it took away the pain and chatter in my head. I was still functioning, so it didn’t seem like a problem to me. I was serving in the military, doing day to day things, but it got to the stage when I couldn’t control it. The fear of reaching out in the military, which is a male-dominant organisation was also a factor. I might be seen as weak and feared my career would be hindered. Thankfully none of that was true.

" I might be seen as weak and feared my career would be hindered. Thankfully none of that was true. "

At this point I knew I had a problem, but I couldn’t admit it. I was too stubborn to ask for help and afraid of my pride. My mental health was deteriorating; I would isolate myself at home, take days off and once I got up out of bed I would go to the pub and then find myself in a party until the early hours of the next morning.

It got to the point with my mental health that I was having suicidal ideations which led me to A & E. After an attempt on my life, I did the bravest thing I could and reached out for help. This broke me down emotionally. I was later diagnosed an alcoholic and an adjustment disorder.

It took me the guts of a year to recover after that. I used the military healthcare system available to me. This included a GP, psychiatry and counselling sessions. I also joined AA meetings in my community.

I started getting involved with Movember as it is a community of like-minded people and it brings men together who have gone through rough times. As well as their amazing work for men’s mental health, suicide prevention, prostate & testicular cancer.

I’m proud to be a part of the Frontline Mo Bros team in Ireland. It brings together members of the emergency services and military and is a force of positivity for men’s mental health and suicide prevention.

Last Movember, we got together for the 40km ‘Head to Head Challenge’. The challenge was walking from Bray Head to Howth Head in each of our uniforms. I found it inspiring joining others serving in uniform who face similar experiences!

The awareness growing a ‘Mo’ creates is impactful. The impact can seem as small as creating a conversation, but from that conversation, if someone knows it’s OK to ask for help, well, that could in turn save a man’s life.

If you, or someone you know, is feeling low, don’t hesitate to reach out for support using these local support resources.

To speak with someone immediately, call The Samaritans on 116 123 or message the Shout text line on 85258.

If you’re ever worried that someone’s life is in immediate danger, call 999 or go directly to emergency services.

Starting conversations with men who are struggling may seem daunting. But getting them to open up can be easier with practice. Use our tool Movember Conversations for support.