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We are a mental health support group aimed at men. However we are also interested in creating dialog with women who know a man who has suffered or currently suffers from a mental health issue.

The suicide rate for men is up to three times higher than for women, and with Robin Williams recent suicide (I’m writing this a few days after on 19th August 2014), I feel driven to set up this website to reach out to men who are suffering from depression or anxiety.

I am Mike, the founder of this group. I suffer from depression and anxiety and have learned many strategies over the years to learn to cope better with these debilitating conditions. Some people like myself seem to have a long-term condition that can’t be cured, but instead can be managed. Other people will fully recover from their conditions.

The main thing to focus on is that however bad your situation is now, most people can improve and become much better than they currently are.

We are currently based in Abergavenny, Monmouthshire. However this website is open to all men suffering from depression or anxiety from all round the world.

If you are feeling suicidal at this moment then check out this site: Metanoia

This site is here to support you. Please feel free to contact me and I will do my best to contact you.

We have started to received some celebrity endorsements. Celebrities help raise the profile of the organisation which in turn means that we can reach more people. So thank you to our celebrity endorsers.

We have started running activities and events, visit our MeetUp page for more details.

Follow us on Twitter if you’d like to find resources on mental health, fighting stigma and wellbeing.

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57 comments

  1. As a female, I hope it’s ok to comment here.

    I just wanted to stop by and wish you all the luck in the world with what you are trying to do here.
    As a sufferer of depression and frequent suicidal thoughts myself, I started my blog to show others that they are not alone and by doing this has also helped me tremendously.
    If there is anything I can do to help you then please, just ask.

    *******************************************
    And just as the caterpillar thought his life was over,
    he turned into a beautiful butterfly
    *******************************************

    Darkyblue

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Hi Darkyblue

      What you are doing is really is really helping others, and hopefully you too. I feel doing these sites and running these groups gives me a great positive focus.

      Due to your comment, I have updated the Welcome page to include the text “We are a mental health support group aimed at men. However we are also interested in creating dialog with women who know a man who has suffered or currently suffers from a mental health issue.”. The second sentence in that quote is new. As I didn’t want to put off women commenting on this site. So thanks for making me realise that.

      You have also inspired me to set up a mixed support group in my local area, in order to include women. It will be called Breakthru, check out: http://breakthru.org.uk/

      Your offer of support is extremely kind. I wrote an article tonight about the kindness of strangers, and you have shown that particular statement to be true, and you’re not the first person tonight, or indeed today.

      If you ever need support feel free to contact me.

      Best wishes
      Mike

      Liked by 4 people

  2. Thankyou so much for taking the time to leave such a kind and thoughtful comment.

    I think what you are doing is a wonderful thing. I can only offer support to people via e-mail. I’ve tried to set up groups here but there is so much red tape and that in itself can drive you crazy.

    Like I said, if there is anything I can do to help then just e-mail me.

    I’m just going to pop to your other site now and take a peek.

    Good luck Mike

    Stephanie-May (Darkyblue)

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Such a great cause! It’s so hard for people to talk about depression me and women, but I totally see that men are expected to be the strong one in a lot of situations. It’s not as widely reported, but it’s something that definitely needs the acknowledgement! Good Luck.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. An inspiring web site to help address a condition that has the capacity to crush an individuals sense of wellbeing, I have suffered with depression for a part of my life, it is an insidious ailment that almost destroyed me. I support this web site and all that it does and will do in order to help de-stigmatise the word and the condition in order that everyone who needs it can get the help and the understanding to deal with this mentally poisonous state.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Hi, Mike. I’m so grateful for your follow. I found your blog via Darky Blue–and am thrilled to see you’re going to reach out to women and to men. In my professional work (now retired educator), I’ve seen many men and women dealing with deep depression and, connected to them, the spouses who deal with their own despair and loneliness. No one quite sure what to do next. I remember how frantic and lost my husband was when I was caught in a seemingly endless downward spiral. Cheers to you for reaching out in the ways you’ve described above!!! One person at a time.
    Wishing you all the best,
    Elouise

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It sounds like you did some great work as an educator. Most educators go beyond education itself, and connect with others in an often very deep way. I think our personal experiences help us understand others more deeply, especially when we have slightly or completely moved beyond and through those experiences and learned empathy based on our first-hand experiences.

      I also have a blog / webpage especially for men and women, at http://breakthru.org.uk. But of course you are also very welcome at MEN HEAL too 🙂

      Thanks for sharing your experiences. I have been very busy recently (close to burn out) so I haven’t had a chance to connect with my followers and friends on WordPress. My followers and friends on here have moved me many times, and it’s only been a matter of weeks. My friend who has bipolar has seen the affect that my blog has had on me, so I set one up for him 10 minutes ago! He is going to start blogging once I’ve taught him the basics. He is so amazing. Yet another mental health survivor to learn from 🙂

      Thanks so much for talking to me Elouise.

      Mike

      Like

  6. I have the pleasure in knowing both Mike and Karl and they are both inspirational men. I wish them both all the best in their new venture and I am always here to help if needed. See you both soon. Take care

    Deb xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi unbolt 🙂

      I’ve been close to burn out the past two weeks. So I’ve had to take it easy and cut down on many things.

      I am really honoured by your nomination. It is so thoughtful of you.

      My priority at the moment is to pace myself and rest to avoid burnout. A coping strategy that really works for me.

      When I feel more rested I am looking forward to answering the questions and writing my own.

      Hope you’re ok
      Mike

      Liked by 1 person

  7. HI MIke, thanks for your email.Yes I am really enoying the 2nd year of 3 years. I was really pleased to read your article in the chronicle, I am only one of three men on the course of twenty fellow students, and as you say men don’t like to talk about their feelings too much as they are expected by societal norms of behaviour to keep up the – “stiff upper lip”, so group like this will hopefully break down these barriers… well done !!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your positive feedback Mark. I was also in the minority on all my counselling courses. It’s fantastic that you’re training to be a counsellor as we need more male counsellors. Have a great weekend. Mike

      Like

  8. Hi Mike, it is nice to meet you. You have a wonderful blog here to reach out to those in need. This really touches close to my heart, my ex-husband attempted to commit suicide. He is on the road to recovery, but will have physical problems the rest of his life. At least he is alive! It’s imperative to know there’s help when one feels that suicide is the only alternative. Do you think men have a higher rate because they have a tendency to keep emotions to themselves? God bless you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Vee. Thanks for your kind words. It’s lovely to hear from you. According to the research I have read and from personal experience, it is believed that men are brought up to be strong and not ask for help. Male babies are actually more emotional early on than female babies! It is believed that it is society that that moulds men in to bottling up emotions. This is what is killing men. I am trying to persuade men that it is both brave and shows great strength to ask for help. Facing pain, whether emotional or physical, shows great bravery. Hopefully we can change the tide. Sorry to hear about your husband’s situation and therefore yours. I send you both much love and kindness. Stay in touch. I’m thinking of you both. Best wishes, Mike

      Like

  9. Hello my brother joined the group this week….. and im happy that he is now not alone with this illness…. this group will help him to mix with other sufferers and share highs and lows

    Like

    1. Thanks for the enthusiastic message 🙂 Hopefully the group will help. Most feedback so far is about feeling less alone with problems. So interesting you also mentioned that aspect. Have a nice evening. Mike

      Like

      1. I found myself getting more and more insular the further I went into depression till I had almost lost all empathy….I’m only just now trying to regain some measure of it. It’s heartening to know it’s not impossible, that there are people like you out there. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Depression sometimes seems to take a part of us, that we knew so well, away. A few years ago I felt unloved, even though I was very well loved, and I began to feel angry about this rejection. The rejection was an illusion of my depressed mind. In this way I started to feel my love for the human race slipping away. This can create a vicious circle or self-fulfilling prophecy where we end up rejecting others because we think they’ve rejected us already! Then we can end up feeling even worse.

        It can take many years to walk through the labyrinth of our depressive mind, in order find one of the many exits that were there all along. It is definitely possible to get back on top of depression which is obviously a severe illness. I wish others would realise that it’s not just a ‘state of mind’ but a real illness that can have devastating consequences.

        Keep in touch
        Mike

        Liked by 1 person

      3. You were really lucky. I’ve been pulling myself out of the abyss alone, not that I blame anybody for that. It isn’t easy to put up with a depressed person, even if that person is close to you, even part of your own family.
        Depression is a most devastating disease, unfortunately like most other diseases, you have to experience it to understand it’s malignance.
        I’d like to stay in touch.
        Himanshu

        Liked by 1 person

      4. It is hard climbing out the abyss alone. I spent twenty years studying a mixture of psychology, counselling, meditation and other strategies to try and overcome it. Most of this was done without the help of others. I was lucky in respect to having very kind parents but most of the wisdom about mental health and wellbeing was all self-taught. I wish I’d been able to speak to the younger me now. Noone can make the climb for us but people can shine a light helping us at least know the right way out. You are doing well.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I went through alcohol, smoking, some questionable life choices and medication. Cut back on the Scotch and fags now, am on a single tablet daily, trying to piece life back together, letting the shattered fragments land where they will, focusing on the ones that are intact.
        It’s a pleasure talking to you though, and I know it sounds sappy.
        Regards,
        Himanshu

        Liked by 1 person

      6. It’s not sappy at all. Your strength is inspiring and when people read comments like yours I’m sure they’ll be inspired to keep moving forwards. I wish you all the best. Keep in touch. Mike

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi my name is sarah and my husband has just been diagnosed with depression, life, especially the family have all got on top of him resulting in him breaking down inconsolably two weeks ago. We love each other deeply however all the intimacy has gone with a ten year old and working opposite shifts to deal with child care. For several months my husband has been thinking about leaving, however after much discussion we decided to try and he’s now on medication. Last week I found out that he had taken a woman from the office out to lunch and they ended up kissing. It’s over now, before it could start and I can understand that she made him feel again and took him away from our problems. We are trying, two weeks of medication and still very low but now only wants to leave sometimes instead of all the time. I’m trying so hard not to be sad as this brings him down when he’s sees me upset, but the creature that is depression disallows anyone from seeing the future, we can only hope!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It sounds like a very difficult time for both of you. Are you getting any support for you? Sometimes when our loved ones are ill we can forget about our own needs. Thinking of you both. Mike

      Like

  11. Hi! I just wanted to reach out and say ‘thank you’ for this initiative. I am a child abuse survivor and have been diagnosed with dysthymia. I have been forging my trauma’s and experiences into something positive for about 5 years now and I think it’s great that men’s mental health is gaining more and more support and exposure over the years.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Dan.

      Comments like yours make a huge difference, and inspire me to keep going.

      It’s amazing that you’ve forged your traumas and experiences in to something positive. Inspirational to hear. It’s not easy to do that, and yet it sounds like you are doing immensely well to achieve this. Huge kudos.

      I’ve got serious mental health issues myself, so it’s been immensely hard to set up this organisation and keep it going. I must admit that sometimes I want to quit, not because people aren’t positive, but because my own mental health issues, and probably because I need more support off other people locally. As I said comments like yours reinvigorate my spirits and energies.

      I wanted to prove that I could be ill, and with support, could still achieve something beneficial.

      If you ever want to write an article for this site, then it would be hugely welcome. Having a man’s perspective is important. Us men can sometimes be a bit shy about opening up about such things as mental health, or trauma etc. I think it’s a sign of strength to open up, although I fully understand that some people aren’t ready to do that, and I also totally respect that.

      Best wishes to you, and thanks again for your kind words.

      Hope things are panning out for you 🙂
      Mike

      Liked by 1 person

  12. This is a great site. When it comes to mental health and stigma, we men are living in the dark ages so its up to us to break these walls down. Very best of luck with the site, I’ll. d watching and happy to get involved if I can help. AH

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Harv. So true what you say. To make this work we all need to work together. Organisations, bloggers, charities, friends, family, neighbours, doctors, psychiatrists, nurses, tweeters. We are changing the world for the here. Would love support. We should talk some time on the phone about coming up with a game plan. Keep up the great work, Mike

      Liked by 1 person

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