By ITV Anglia’s Callum Fairhurst
A group of men facing mental health issues or grief say meeting up to talk about what they are going through has helped them to deal with their own difficult situations.
The group was set up by Luke Newman, who became depressed and anxious after the death of his mum and sister from cancer.
He had already benefitted from speaking to others and decided to find a group he called simply For Men to Talk.
And the Bedfordshire-based group does what it says – offering a chance for men to meet up weekly online to talk, but once a month they also come together to have a walk and chat in person.
Some of those that take part say it has been a saving grace.
Mr Newman, founder of the group, said: “Not only do we talk about how we’re feeling, but we also talk about movies, TV, football, and have a few dad jokes as well.
“It improves our mental health. We start off with a cup of tea, go for a walk for an hour and half, have another tea and a cake and go on our merry way and hopefully feel better.”
And many people that join the sessions say they are a huge help, among them Steve Whitney, whose son took his own life in February 2020.
He said: “I went initially to establish where I was with my own mental health. I didn’t know whether I was coping well with my son’s death or if I was hiding behind myself.
“There are times when we’re very low, and they’re the times we get in deep and help each other.”
That spirit of camaraderie is what the group promotes to help others get through their toughest times.
Their main message is that whoever you are “there are people out there that will listen – don’t be afraid to talk”.