Male mental health group Andy's Man Club Scarborough sets record for first week attendance

The male mental health group Andy's Man Club held its first group in Scarborough on Monday (February 3).

By Corinne Macdonald
Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 11:58 am
Updated Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 12:00 pm

There was a record breaking turnout for the first group, with 37 men attending.

One of the club's facilitators, Carl Martin said: "It's a record for a first club opening which is quite amazing.

"We put out 15 chairs thinking 10 men would turn up and people just kept coming through the door.

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Andy's Man Club. Picture: JPI Media

"We were all a little bit shocked and overwhelmed.

"It's clearly been much needed."

Carl has been attending Andy's Man Club in Hull since last May having looked around for support as he felt he needed a bit of help for his own mental health.

After witnessing the positive effect of the group he decided to set one up in Scarborough, where he has lived most of his life.

"We've got issues with suicide in Scarborough," Carl said. "Everyone has been wanting [a group] here because so many people either know someone with mental health issues or have experienced them themselves.

"Hopefully we can reduce that and make a difference in the area."

He has started the group in Scarborough with two other facilitators Shaun Tymon and Gordon Thompson.

Their main job is to put people at ease and creating a safe environment by explaining that everything said is confidential.

Carl said: "It's difficult for some people to walk in.

"We had a couple of people on Monday walking up and down the street outside so we asked them if they'd like to come over."

The group will meet in Scarborough Library at 7pm every Monday except bank holidays and is open to any man over 18.

Each week the facilitators ask five questions to the group - three of which are always the same and two which alter.

Carl explained some people share positive experiences, which can help other who are struggling to see that things can get better.

He said whilst he understands going to the group can be a big step to take for some people, he would encourage them to give it a go.

"It's ok to talk, and it's ok to just listen. What's the worst that could happen?"

Between 2016 and 2018, Scarborough had the joint eighth highest rate of suicide in England, according to recent figures from the Office for National Statistics.

The suicide rate–15.6 per 100,000 – was the highest of any local authority in Yorkshire and the Humber, and the rate for men – 23.5 per 100,000 – was the twelfth highest in the country, and well above the English average of 17.2.

Anyone affected by these issues can contact Samaritans on 116 123.