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they say ask for help

For when you're feeling particularly vulnerable...
ericph
Posts: 56
Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2020 10:57 pm

Re: they say ask for help

Postby ericph » Sun Jan 17, 2021 5:39 pm

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/

Take care.
Eric

lol76
Posts: 265
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2020 10:36 pm

Re: they say ask for help

Postby lol76 » Tue Jan 19, 2021 1:56 am

Wow this is a fantastic idea! For quite some time now I have said I would benefit from somekind of support group where people can just drop in (a little bit like AA). I totally agree with you and think its a great way to heal and help each.other. When people can really empathise and support others I think it can be really powerful and positive.

Thanks for the post...its got me thinking...although I dont think ive got the strength to initiate and set something up just at the moment...its defo worth knowing about.

ericph
Posts: 56
Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2020 10:57 pm

Re: they say ask for help

Postby ericph » Tue Jan 19, 2021 9:06 pm

lol76 wrote:Wow this is a fantastic idea!


First of all; you don't need any skills or qualities; you don't need to be a leader to start such a group, you just need a passion. I know this to be true because I started up a similar but different group twelve years ago; and it is still running. I have never been a leader, but I still take part.

If your town has a facebook page, then use it to talk about the need for a local mental health support group. Talk about the things you talk about on this forum; encourage people to speak; over time you will get a response. Social Services, town councilors, businesses and others will be keen to help.

In just over a year we have been given grants from a number of sources, some quite large. No one in our group takes any earnings, but there can be expenses. A number of venues have let us use their rooms for free, they even supply free tea. We are also very aware that people with mental health problems can be suffering from debt. We are not there to clear any debts, but I know we have helped out with food and essentials.

Even if you feel you are not ready to start such a group, you can sow the ideas now, just by talking about a need for something to happen. It can take time for things to fall into place.

Guaranteed - if you start such a support group; you will find over time that it helps you; as much if not more than you help others.

If anyone thinks I could help, then let me know.
Kind regards,
Eric

lol76
Posts: 265
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2020 10:36 pm

Re: they say ask for help

Postby lol76 » Thu Jan 21, 2021 2:09 am

Thanks Eric...you talk alot of sense and have good ideas. I guess its my anxiety kicking up worries. Im in contact with a peer support worker at my local Mind so might discuss with him.

Cheers


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