What is Man Club?
Man Club creates safe and private meeting spaces where men can talk openly about their feelings, and about what’s going on their lives.
In these spaces, (sometimes called Men’s Circles), men agree to listen respectfully to each other. If they wish to respond they do it in an understanding and supportive way, and everyone present agrees that everything said will remain absolutely confidential.
Man Club provides trained facilitators to lead and manage the ‘circle’.
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Why is Man Club important?
Because men need some help …
– Over three quarters of people who kill themselves are men
– 73% of adults who ‘go missing’ are men
– 87% of rough sleepers are men
– Men are nearly three times more likely than women to become alcohol dependent
– Men are three times as likely to report frequent drug use than women
– More than two thirds of drug-related deaths occur in men
– Men have measurably lower access to the social support of friends and relatives
– Men are significantly less likely to access psychological therapies than women
Data from www.menshealthforum.org.uk/key-data-mental-health
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How does Man Club help men?
Everyone is different, but men are often reluctant to talk about their problems. Old instructions like, ‘Man up!’, ‘Take it like a man!’, and ‘keep a stiff upper lip’ are (thankfully) becoming dated – but much of these basic expectations still remain.
Men are typically rewarded for their competence, resilience, and confidence, so they learn early that they should ‘put on a brave face’, (no matter how scared, stressed, or overwhelmed they actually feel).
Man Club provides a place where men can take off this mask and talk honestly about how their lives really feel. Other men get to hear this (and discover that they are not alone).
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How does a meeting work?
Each meeting is managed by at least two facilitators.
After agreeing the ‘rules’, (confidentiality, respect each other, no drugs or booze, etc), men are invited to speak.
Each speaker is handed the ‘talking stick’, (a native American tradition). Holding this stick, he may talk for as long as he needs to, without interruption. Between each speaker there is usually a respectful discussion, where men may reflect and comment on what they’ve heard.
(Not everyone has to speak. It’s OK to just come and listen.)
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How does this help?
It’s about being heard and understood by other men. Curiously, Man Club doesn’t solve people’s problems. We don’t give anyone advice. Typically the response from listeners is, “I hear you”, “I believe you”, “I think your feelings are justified”.
It’s also about men discovering they are not alone. Often, listeners will relate similar experiences of their own. (Others may silently note that they have also felt the same, and feel reassured.)
Commonly, men will say, “I hear you, and I can see who you are – really, with nothing hidden – and I think you are going to be OK”.
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Look us up here to find out about the next meeting: