Men’s mental health charity ‘Andy’s Man Club’ is starting in Littlehampton
Andy’s Man Club is a talking group and suicide-prevention charity for men who are or who have been struggling with mental health or suicidal thoughts – and it is coming to Littlehampton.
Starting from Monday, October 4, men aged over 18 who are or have been struggling with their mental health are invited to attend the talking group taking place at Dove Lodge in Beach Road, Littlehampton.
The suicide prevention charity runs sessions from 7pm to 9pm every Monday throughout the year, excluding bank holidays.
James Stafford, 40, who lost his best friend to suicide, and Mike Turner, 29, are the facilitators of the Littlehampton group.
James said: “One man in the UK kills himself every two hours, and three out of four suicides in the UK are men.
“The idea of Andy’s Man Club is that we are looking to change the conversation and to take away the stigma when talking about men’s mental health.
“We aren’t experts but its a peer-to-peer talking group and the fact is there will be men there that would have been through similar experiences who have come out the other side, and the idea is really through shared experiences and discussion we can work through your problems.
“You’ll find that every guy who volunteers for Andy’s Man Club either has some connection to suicide or has some connection to men’s mental health, and both Mike and I have experiences in mental health through friends and family.”
James made it clear that people can turn up as often or as little as they like. He added: “There is absolutely no obligation to turn up, and there is no obligation to speak either.
“It can be quite intimidating for some people, the idea of having to talk, so you 100 percent do not have to talk.”
James said that the Littlehampton group was also trying to raise £832 before opening to cover the costs of six months’ room hire and then, during the six months, the group will aim to become self-funding.
James added: “We don’t receive any funding, all groups are self-funded. We are looking to raise the first six months funding before we start so it gives us the option just to focus on what we do well.”
People can donate to the Littlehampton group through its JustGiving website.