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Team talk to launch in Newark as committee member Carla Brown organises a mental health support group for men in Nottinghamshire

A football club committee member has identified the need for a men’s mental health support group in the town – and will look to create a solution to fill the void.

The Newark Town FC Team Talk Group will open its doors at the Tom Mann Pavilion in Devon Park, on Monday, March 4, to provide a safe space for men to meet and talk about anything.

“There is a lack of support groups in our town, in particular groups supporting men’s mental health and women going through menopause,” said Carla Brown who is organising the project.

A new group will support men and encourage them to talk about whatever is bothering them.
A new group will support men and encourage them to talk about whatever is bothering them.

“I have been keen to start a group in Newark for a while now but, for various reasons – maybe more a lack of confidence than anything – it hasn't worked out.

“As the weeks pass, and another person ends their life or a friend sends a message that says ‘I’m struggling’ — the more I think I just need to take the plunge.

“So, on Monday at 7pm I will open the doors to the Newark Town FC Team Talk Group. This group will be a self-led mental health peer support group, for men aged 18+ — meeting either weekly or monthly, depending on demand, at the Tom Mann Pavilion.

“You can meet for a chat over a coffee and speak openly about your mental health without fear of judgement.

“It's not about sitting in a circle or being asked to share your experiences. Wherever you are on your mental health journey there will be others who know what you're going through, or who will be able to listen.

“There will be signposting to professional support groups, and we will be joined by speakers and professionals covering lots of different topics.

“All of this will be decided by those attending the group.

“Being situated in a park you can have a kick about, go for a walk or just enjoy the surroundings, knowing that you are in a safe, welcoming place.

“I have contacted other local sports and recreational groups with a view to arranging visits to matches, trying new activities and engaging with those members, to encourage more men to look after themselves and break down the social stigma surrounding mental health, self-harm and suicide.

“I appreciate that, as a female, it’s slightly at odds with what I am hoping to achieve, but I merely want to be the facilitator so that men can then take the lead themselves.

“Although I have qualifications, I am not a mental health professional. I do understand the darkness, but I also know there is also light on this journey.

“I have meetings arranged with Newark and Sherwood District Council, NHS services, counsellors and therapists as well as support from the founders of the group Real Men Talk group who met during Covid.

“The response from a post off Facebook last week has been fantastic and I hope that we can start something amazing for the men in our lives.

“I hope people will share my vision, please email me on teamtalk24@gmail.com if you have any thoughts and suggestions, and more importantly share with anyone who may need some support or just needs a place to meet.”

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