HMMH – Hereford Men’s Mental Health Group
Open to any men in Herefordshire at risk of, suffering from, or recovering from Mental Illness.
This peer support group is co-ordinated by people who have experienced mental ill health, as well as being Mental Health First Aid trained and it gives the attendees a safe place to come and talk about stresses and strains, feelings, depression and other mental health issues in a safe environment amongst people who get it.
The group members support each other over a cuppa and the conversation is often wide ranging and fun too. They have a laugh and joke and some banter, as well as allowing people to talk about the issues they are dealing with. Members have also created a book
Every second and fourth Monday of each month from 5.30pm to 7.30pm at United in the Community Building, Victoria Park, Field Grove View, HR11AW.
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.
Have you experienced mental health problems or are you suffering from mental ill health? Or maybe you’re feeling isolated or struggling to cope during a tough time?
HMMH group meets on the second Monday of each month and welcomes men of any age to come and meet others who may have gone through some of the same experiences. Why not join us for a meeting and take the opportunity to have a bit of banter and a laugh in a relaxed, friendly environment?
There’s no requirement to talk about your own issues if you don’t want to: we don’t sit around and force people to ‘share’. However, most people who come here soon realise that it’s a safe place, that other men share some of their experiences and feelings and that it really is good to talk.
Call Euan on 07432 019404 for more information or email HMMHgroup1@gmail.com
We also have a WhatsApp group that people can use outside of the meeting, to chat 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.’
Another contributor, known as Glyn, said:
‘I found the whole process of of writing my feelings down expressively and sharing them hugely therapeutic. Through this book I’m hoping that somebody else is helped in a similar way.’
Funding for the project was provided by Herefordshire Community Foundation and Great Places.
The books can be bought for £6.99: