I had been attending The Hollies which is part of the New Forest Wellbeing Centre since autumn 2017. I have been suffering from anxiety and depression, and I may be diagnosed with high functioning autism.
The Men’s group has been set up very recently, and I am very proud to say that I was asked to become involved in organising the group and help the RSPB and their Roseate Tern project.
As of yet, we have not come across one of these rare birds: but that really isn’t the point! The point is that we all meet up, same place, same time on a Monday. We have a walk around Lymington’s sea wall, bird watch and just have a natter. Our RSBP guide is very good at pointing out the birds and after our walk we retreat to the local pub where we continue our chat.
We have no agenda. We chat, have a laugh and surprisingly share our lived experiences and tips. It all feels very relaxed. Becoming a volunteer with the group is really helping me to have a sense of purpose and gives me a structure to my week.
Getting outdoors, meeting up in a very relaxed environment and having a chat, got me away from a difficult frame of mind. Our numbers are growing week on week and we’re tackling issues we’ve not bought up for years. It’s good to talk.
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The number of people living with mental health issues in Portsmouth and southeast Hampshire is on the rise – but our health service launching this week aims to help tackle this problem.
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The powerful stories of two local women who lost their brothers to suicide last year will be told in a special edition of a our men’s mental health podcast this week - to coincide with World Suicide Prevention Day (Friday 10 September).