Hereford Men’s Mental Health is a peer support group open to any men in Herefordshire at risk of, suffering from, or recovering from mental illness. It’s also for men experiencing stress, loneliness, low mood and/or recovering from alcohol or substance misuse.
The group is supported by people who have experienced mental ill health, as well as being Mental Health First Aid trained.
It’s a safe environment where you can come to talk, listen, or just relax over a cuppa and enjoy the friendly atmosphere, among people who get it.
Members chat about a range of subjects; they have a laugh and some banter, as well as allowing people to talk about any issues they are dealing with. There are occasionally activities such as bowling or going out for a curry or Chinese. Some members have even put together a book of writing about mental health (see below).
The group is not linked with any religious group or political agenda. There’s no requirement to talk about your own issues if you don’t want to – we don’t sit in a circle and force people to ‘share’! But most people who come here soon realise that it’s a safe place if they do want to chat about problems, that other men share some of their own experiences and that it really is good to talk.
The group meets every second and fourth Monday of each month from 5.30pm to 7.30pm. It’s fine just to drop in, or you can get in touch first – see the contact details below.
We sometimes go out for a meal or activity at a different venue so if you’re planning to come to a meeting it’s worth emailing us at HMMHgroup1@gmail.com or texting 07376 727280 a few days before, to ensure the meeting will be at the usual place and time! You can also ask to be added to the WhatsApp chat so you will know if there are any updates or changes. You can leave the chat at any time.
United in the Community Building, Victoria Park, Field Grove View, HR11AW (go right to the end of Field Grove View and through the metal gates at the end).
More than 1 in 4 people will suffer with diagnosable mental illness some point in their lives. The vast majority will recover fully.
However, being able to talk to someone about what you’re feeling is key to preventing ill health and promoting a speedy and sustained recovery.
Put simply, men are far less likely to talk about their feelings or ask for help than women. They’re also less likely to access formal support, and, as a result, they often self-medicate using drink or drugs which usually makes things far worse.
The sad truth is that men are 3 times more likely to die by suicide, partly because of the reasons highlighted above.
We need to tackle the stigma that still exists for men around talking about issues like anxiety, depression, low mood, being diagnosed with mental illness and just struggling with life in general.
HMMH exists to provide a safe place for men who are at risk of, are suffering from, or have recovered from, mental ill health.
Call or text the Group Coordinator on 07376 727280 or email HMMHgroup1@gmail.com
Join the HMMH WhatsApp group to chat outside of the meetings, or arrange to meet up with other members.
“Writing for new mental health poetry book was ‘cathartic, a bit scary and ultimately immensely rewarding”
Further Beyond Words showcases original poetry and short stories by men who use creative writing to help them deal with anxiety, depression or other mental health issues.
Herefordshire-based horticulturalist, broadcaster and writer Monty Don, who has faced his own struggles with mental illness, has provided a foreword for the book, which also includes artwork by students at Hereford College of Arts.
Many of the book’s 20 poems and stories delve into darker urges and emotions in a cathartic way, while others express hope, positivity and a sense of recovery.
The book is a result of a collaboration between two Hereford-based mental health champions and FurtherBeyond, a local creative writing project. The two main driving forces, Euan McPherson, chief executive of Hereford Services for Independent Living (who also supports Hereford Men’s Mental Health group), and Cllr Paul Stevens, Mayor of Hereford, have experienced mental ill health themselves – and both have contributed poems.
One contributor, using the pen-name BlackDog, said:
‘I’d never considered putting pen to paper before it was suggested by the HMMH group as an opportunity. Suddenly I’d found a way of expressing emotions and feelings that I was otherwise unable to convey – not just to other people but even to myself.
‘Using creative writing as a recovery tool was cathartic, a little bit scary and ultimately immensely rewarding.’
Funding for the project was provided by Herefordshire Community Foundation and Great Places.
The books can be bought for £6.99: