We all know by now that our mental health is more than important. Like our bodies, if we don’t look after it, it can suffer and in tragic cases be fatal. That’s why it’s so important to acknowledge if your mental health is suffering and take action to help yourself. For Mental Health Awareness Week we take a closer look at men’s mental health support groups and charities to help you if you are struggling. There are lots out there, and they might not be as scary as you think. They vary in size and location, so you can find the one that suits you best to help to support you through a difficult period, and most of them are run by people who have been through a difficult time with their mental health, or have lost a loved one due to mental health, so you’ll be in good hands…
The Lions Barber Collective
The Lions Barber Collective is run by an international collection of top barbers! It’s a worldwide charity that helps raise awareness for the prevention of suicide. It started from a comment on Facebook in 2015 and within 6 weeks they hit the ground running with their first appearance at The Great British Barber Bash in Liverpool. Tom Chapman the founder is an award-winning barber, author and public speaker and his charity now run campaigns for the awareness of mental wellbeing and suicide prevention. The thoughts behind it are that the barbershop is a great, safe place for men to talk, so the charity now using its online platform BarberTalk to train hair professionals across the globe to Recognise, Ask, Listen and Help those in their chairs. Their aim is to get people talking and ultimately support people in need, who are struggling with their mental health.
Man Down based across Cornwall organises walks, talks, activities, evening events and breakfast meetups for those struggling with their mental health. They may need a bit or a lot of support but they are there to talk things through and recognise the struggles. they bring men together, and to raise awareness organise and host events to help men work together to work through the issues they are having, no matter how big or small. Men from 18+ can join a group in their area, groups are informal and relaxed and provide a safe place for men dealing with any kind of mental health issues.
MenSpeak Men’s Group
Want to hang out and improve your mental health with others just like you? MenSpeak Men’s Group create confidential spaces for men to be heard, they turn “mask-uline” into masculine” and support thousands of men across the UK. Founded in 2000 it was started by Kenny “I wanted to be met by my male friends at depth, beyond drink, drugs, sex, addictions, money, muscles and monkey-ing about and putting on a good show while feeling empty inside. I got a dozen or so of my closest male friends in my lounge, with five years, travel freshly under my belt but no prior experience of men’s groups.” Within a year, the group had outgrown his lounge and they needed somewhere bigger, Kenny created something with more structure and the rest is history as they say. They now have online training programmes for men who want to follow in their footsteps and host their own men’s groups. MenSpeak is all about helping yourself and others at the same time, a place to improve yourself and hang out with like-minded people!
Men’s Sheds Association
Men’s Sheds Association are all about the practicalities and helping your mental health whilst you enjoy making and mending. They encourage sheds to be far more than a solitary place but aim to make them about social connections and friendship building, sharing skills and knowledge and most important of all, talking about your problems in orf=der to improve your mental health. “Sheds are whatever the members (or Shedders as we call them) want them to be. Although labelled sheds, they often aren’t sheds at all. They can be empty offices, portable cabins, warehouses, garages, and in at least one case, a disused mortuary. Some Sheds are purpose-built workshops, but they rarely start out that way.” It’s about connection and company for people in need of some support.
We Are Your Mates
We Are Your MATES Mental health Awareness Through Educational Speaking is a safe community where you can openly speak about your mental health. It’s Facebook-based and they have a closed private group that helps support its members online. Further to this their MATES ambassadors hold regular weekly events that are community-based, they are on hand to chat with people who are in need of help with their mental health and listen without stigma or judgement. Their aim is to let people know they are not alone, this group is here and is ready to listen and chat to people who are in need.
Andy’s Man Club
Andy’s Man Club started in Halifax and again was a small group that grew into something much bigger. From 9 men sharing their stories, worries and concerns this group knew that it needed to be something that wasn’t just contained to those 9 men. More men needed the same experience. The group was created by Luke Ambler in memory of Andy, his brother-in-law who lost his life to mental health. They now have 28 groups across the UK and are still growing and helping men to improve their mental health and life.
Calm short for Calm Against Living Miserably offers multiple services to help men suffering from their mental health. Their frontline service includes a helpline and webchat for people who need to talk urgently about their problems. They also support people who have lost people to mental health and suicide. Their community work spreads far and wide as they encourage people from all backgrounds to share their experiences and get help before they reach a point of crisis. They challenge outdated stereotypes of men and their mental health through cultural activities.
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