A MEN’S mental health support charity has celebrated growing their Barnsley talking clubs and have encouraged more who they may help to come along.
Andy’s Man Club first came to Barnsley in November after a need for male mental health support in the area was picked up on.
The charity was founded in 2016 in memory of dad Andy Roberts, who died by suicide aged 23.
Male suicide remains a critical issue - according to the most recent data sets, around three-quarters of registered suicide deaths in 2020 in England and Wales were men.
Now the charity aims to break down stigmas, supports men struggling with their mental health and aims to lend a hand to suicide prevention.
The charity’s group at Library @ the Lightbox is held on Mondays at 7pm, the same day and time as the new Honeywell Sports Village group which started up in February.
A Barnsley facilitator for the charity, 44-year-old Ady Bell from Penistone, has been helping to lead the groups over the last few months and said it would be nice to see the second group pick up as much as the first one.
“The new site itself is brilliant,” he told the Chronicle.
“But there aren’t as many attending at the moment as the other group - and we definitely want to encourage whoever feels like it would help them to come along.
“I’d estimate we currently have around 25 to 35 members at the library group, and roughly seven to ten at Honeywell.
“The new group has been really well received by new members, and they keep coming back - which is also helping them build friendships from the group which is fantastic.”
Ady shared his experiences of mental health in his life, and how these led him to want to help others.
“I suffered with mental health in my youth, but I sort of came out of the other side of it a bit later. But around four years ago, one of my friends tried to take his own life. He fortunately didn’t - but he then isolated himself because of how he was feeling.
“I was best man at his wedding - so I found that really hard.
“I think because of that, and because of my own experiences of anxiety and depression, I just really wanted to do something.
“There hasn’t always been support like this available, and it’s been needed for years - but times are changing and it’s great we’ve got this in Barnsley now.”
More information about the groups is available on the Andy’s Man Club website.