I have been meeting up with a group of men that seems more supportive than going to professional counsellors. We meet up face to face in a hall, and because we are a support group we can have 15 people attend; even with Covid. We also meet up on Zoom twice a week and have a very active whatsapp support.
It was started by an ex soldier after his best mate of over twenty years ended his life. They had talked just a couple of days before, and he had no indication that his mate was in such a dark place. After some time of grieving he thought there must be many more men suffering in silence, and he formed a support group.
The evening is very simple, we each give a mood score between 1 - 10, then say why we are feeling like this. Others in the group will say something, offer words of encouragement and hope. None of us are trained counsellors, although we have one who is in training now.
I have seen men in tears when they first come, a number have tried to end their lives in the past. But I see an amazing transformation, after they have been a couple of times, they start offering words of support and encouragement to others in the group. When you help others, you also help yourself to heal. You can see how these men are struggling, but I also see how just being part of a caring group lifts their spirits. The men who have suffered the most, are the ones who seem to offer the most support in the group.
I think it takes one person with a passion to start such a group in any town. Women could also start their own groups. Just my own opinion, but I think it is better to have separate male and female groups. Covid does makes things more difficult, and we have seen our numbers decline a bit with the face to face meetings, but I do see hope.
If any man is interested, the website for mangang is below, Just ask for the link to join the meeting. There is a zoom meeting tonight, and every Sunday at 6.30 pm. It doesn't matter where you live. We are also having zoom meetings on Wednesday evenings. https://www.facebook.com/ManGangUK/