Community: Man Down Helston fortnightly mental health talking group
// What is Man Down? //
We are here to help reduce the number of male suicides and reduce the stigma surrounding mental health by offering men the space to talk about their emotions. The main way we do this is by facilitating free-to-attend fortnightly informal talking group meetings held at locations all over Cornwall.
// What happens at Man Down Helston? //
Every two weeks on a Thursday at 7pm we invite men to come along and talk about their mental health as part of a supportive talking group. By offering the chance to speak and listening to others, together we break down the stigma associated with talking about our emotions. All attending agree to the sessions being a confidential, non-judgemental and safe space to share. We also offer social meet ups and an online peer support group for those that have attended a face-to-face talking group meeting.
// How does the evening begin? //
Simply turn up for anytime between 6.45pm and 7pm. You will be welcomed at the door by one of the facilitators and introduced to some of the guys. We understand it can be difficult to turn up to a new place where you might not know anyone. Every guy who comes along has had the same experience and will make you feel very welcome. Chances are you won’t be the only person who is new to the group.
// How does the meeting play out? //At 7pm we will start the meeting. The facilitator will kick off with an intro about Man Down and welcome everyone to the group. You will find out about the social activities the group arranges and the online area that you can join to keep in touch between meetings. The meeting will then begin. It is a safe space to talk openly because the group agrees to adhere to maintaining confidentiality and to being non-judgmental.
// Do I have to talk/share my experience? //
Not at all – the offer is there if you do want to talk but if you would prefer to just take it all in initially then that is totally fine. It may be that after attending a few meetings you feel ready to share.
// Do I have to let you know I wish to attend? //
No – just turn up on the evening.
// Do I have to pay to attend? //
No – all costs are covered by Man Down, a Community Interest Company, which is fortunate to have awesome people who fundraise and give grants to ensure we can offer meetings to you free of charge.
// What about drinks etc? //
Tea, coffee and water is provided.
// Does Man Down offer professional help? //
We do not. At our core we are seeking to reduce the number of male suicides and the stigma surrounding mental health by talking about our emotions. These sessions are facilitated by volunteers who are not psychological professionals. For this reason we will not advise or give recommendations for particular potential treatments or services. We can, however, signpost to services available across Cornwall which will be able to guide you.
// I am really struggling with my mental health right now… //
If you are suffering with your mental health right now, please seek professional help. You can see the services recommended by Cornwall Council here: https://www.cornwall.gov.uk/heal…/mental-health/resources/. Many of our guys find that talking as part of the group is useful for gaining clarity, building a good support network and for understanding that you are not alone in what you are feeling.
// I’m anxious about attending – is this normal? //
Everyone deals with new experiences differently. It is not uncommon for guys to tell us, after they have attended multiple times, that they found taking that first step through the door difficult. We will be here when you are ready.