A founder of a mental health peer support company in Bedfordshire has published a short book highlighting mental health challenges.
Similar to the style of the Mr. Men books, Luke Newman from Potton, has designed and written ‘The Mental Health Moles’ showing fifty-two storyboards accompanied with brightly coloured and boldly drawn illustrations with advice about mental health topics, such as anxiety, depression, grief, social media, stress, sleep and many more.
Luke has lost both his mother and sister to cancer and felt that there wasn’t an open platform for himself and other men to have a place to talk about their feelings openly.
So in 2019, Luke launched ‘For Men to Talk’ providing men with an opportunity to talk about their mental health during a weekly meeting. The group started at the beginning of 2020 in Jones Café in Biggleswade until the coronavirus lockdown moved them to the Zoom virtual online platform. The meetings will hopefully return to the café in July 2021, as well as continuing online, depending on lockdown restrictions.
Suitable for all ages and genders, ‘The Mental Health Moles’ book is available to purchase for £4.99 from the Amazon Kindle store via www.bit.ly/MHMOLES and £5.99 for the printed version which will soon be available from the ‘For Men To Talk’ website.
“I launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise £300, so that 100 copies could be printed,” said Luke. “People donated a minimum of amount of £10 and would receive a personalised and signed copy done myself. That target was reached in just eighteen hours. I can’t thank those people enough for the support”.
For more information about For Men to Talk and how to join the weekly sessions, please visit www.formentotalk.co.uk
During the ‘For Men To Talk’ group meetings on Wednesdays, many of the attendees express the importance in them spending time outdoors in nature. It has been found to help with mental health problems including anxiety and depression. The photos you see are also taken by them.
Here are just some of their comments:
“Mostly, it quietens down the ‘noise’ in my mind of overthinking/worrying about stuff. It usually takes at least 20 minutes of activity, then my brain goes into reset mode and I just enjoy the fresh air and scenery.
On a bigger scale, I enjoy the countryside, knowing I didn’t have any control over this world being formed but get to enjoy it’s beauty, it gives me some perspective on things.”
“The best way to describe it is that it resets my mood. If you think of a computer that is just not running right. You turn it off, then turn it back on. Then things go back to normal.”
“If I was to put it crudely, it puts a wedge between me and my thoughts. It reminds me that I’m still alive if I am struggling.”
“It allows me to reset and to feel real again. It allows me to talk with my wife, without being interrupted by the kids.”
‘For Men To Talk’ is very proud to stand with CPSL Mind in their STOP Suicide campaign. For the next foreseeable months, you will see their logo on the ‘For Men To Talk’ group meeting posters and other marketing material.
STOP Suicide is an award-winning suicide prevention campaign that seeks to empower communities and individuals across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to help stop suicides by being alert to the warning signs, asking directly about suicide and helping those who are feeling suicidal to stay safe.
It focusses on encouraging men to open up about their mental health experiences and encourage others to ask openly and directly if they are worried that someone may be at risk.
An estimated one in five of us has had suicidal thoughts at some point in our lives.
Three-quarters of suicides in the UK are by men.
Seventy per cent of people who die by suicide have not been in contact with mental health services in the year before their death.
The single biggest group remains middle aged men.
Suicide rates in younger men have been incrementally increasing in recent years.
This is a Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and South Lincolnshire Mind (CPSL Mind) campaign, funded by Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council.
As a Community Interest Company, ‘For Men To Talk’ has a commitment to be a benefit to the community, with a particular focus on supporting men’s mental health. As the company grows to fulfil its social purpose to help as many men as possible, it needs to grow internally too.
Today Luke Newman, the founder of ‘For Men To Talk’, is honoured to announce that he has put in place a ‘Board of Directors’.
“The board will discuss and advise on key strategic and operational decisions”, said Luke. “It will also ensure that the company meets its statutory obligations. I have appointed three Non-Executive Directors, each with amazing personal qualities to help me and ‘For Men To Talk’ to reach our full potential. With this newly appointed strong leadership, I am excited about what the future will bring.”
The Appointed Non-Executive Directors are:
James Dunn, who works in a fast-paced, high-performing role in London. He is an advocate of talking and listening about the topic of men’s mental health and has been an attendee of the ‘For Men To Talk’ group meetings since they were founded.
Ian Payne, recognises the importance of communication and counselling from his own mental health experiences, as well as the experience of others. He is a strong advocate of looking after ourselves both physically and mentally.
Justin Leigh is a highly experienced Business Leader & Executive Coach with over twenty-five years’ experience in sales and leadership. Justin has founded the Cambridgeshire branch of a charitable group ‘Walk & Talk 4 Men’. Just is a passionate supporter of men’s mental health and is proud to help men find the help they need, when they need it.