Access student champions men’s mental health

15th July 2020

In the UK, around one in eight men have a common mental health problem[1]. However, men may be reluctant to seek support for their mental health. A prevalent issue in today’s society, Access to HE Humanities and Social Sciences student, Luke Barker, is committed to making a difference in men’s mental health.

Passion for psychology

When working part-time in a gym, Luke regularly spoke with male members and realised a common theme.

“I’d regularly work on reception at the gym, where some male members would speak to me about how they’re feeling. A reoccurring theme would always be mental health, therefore it became obvious that men needed more support to talk openly about their feelings in a space they felt comfortable.

“I felt at ease talking to these members and was pleased I could help them in some way. This is how my journey into psychology and men’s mental health began.”

On course for success

Luke began his further education journey at sixth form, but found a new direction at Leeds City College.

“The Access course was incredibly varied, encompassing both sociology topics such as feminism and Marxism, and physiology topics such as operant conditioning. The programme provided me with fantastic well-rounded knowledge, supported by expert tutors who were really helpful.

“Everyone felt welcome on the course regardless of their age. It was encouraging to see how invested the tutors were in our progress and wellbeing. My tutors were always readily available to offer valuable support whenever we needed it.

“The Access course involved one year of concentrated study, with regular essays, assistance and feedback to ensure I was constantly improving. Completing an Access course also meant I was more prepared to start university. I had a better understanding of the work I would be completing and adapted useful techniques for essays.”

Continuing the academic journey

After completing the course in March, Luke has accepted a place at University of Bristol to study Psychology in September.

“The Access course has opened up some incredible opportunities for me. The University of Bristol are rated sixth in the university league table for psychology, so I’m really excited to begin my degree and hopefully become a psychologist when I graduate!”

Find out more about our Access courses here.



Leeds City College