A Stoke university student who has won awards for his charity fundraising pursuits reached out to a men’s mental health charity to set up a support group in Stoke and Scunthorpe after suffering with his own mental health issues.
Andy’s Man Club is a charity set up by rugby player Luke Ambler after his best friend and brother in law took his own life. The charity now helps thousands of men throughout the UK through their free peer to peer support groups.
Campaigner Jack Marshall who studies at Staffordshire University said: “It’s such an awesome charity, we sometimes don’t really think the impact that life can have, work, relationships and family because it goes so fast. It’s so important to have a place where you can fall back on without any judgment when life gets you down.”
Jack who was nervous before going to the club which opened this week and will run every Monday, said:
“I just think that it’s inspirational and brave to first walk through the doors and then to have the courage to be open and honest. Everyone is a superhero who attends.”
Suicide is the biggest killer of people under the age of 35 and the biggest killer of men under the age of 50. It is the leading cause of death in the UK for 10-19 year olds.
Jack who struggles to talk about his mental health vowed to work on his issues went along on the clubs opening night:
Tonight was a special and privileged night, it was the grand opening of Andy man’s club in Stoke. This is personal to me as I have had mental health battles in the past and still continue to. I heard about Andy’s but it wasn’t until I emailed them during the summer to make a suggestion that we needed a club in Stoke that I got involved. I was and am so thrilled that the club was opening and more men were going to have somewhere where they can feel comfortable talking about their personal battles without any judgement. I went tonight for two reasons, being a person who is no stranger to battles with MH, I wanted to go and see what it was like and talk openly about my experience. It was such an amazing experience, the staff when I got there, got a drink for me and I felt comfortable right away. We got split in to two groups and thought that was a great thing because it’s nerve racking talking to just a few people, let alone 14 people.
We then just all talked about our lives and what we were dealing with, we gave each other advice at times but we in the main just listened and gave them the platform to get everything of their chest that they felt comfortable with.
The people that came tonight, you could tell that they felt comfortable with the staff, with talking about their personal lives and battles, that is what Andy man’s club culture is all about.
Such an awesome charity. We sometimes don’t really think the impact that life can have, work, relationships, family etc because it goes so fast, but it’s so important to have a place where you can fall back on without any judgment when life gets you down. One thing I take away from this experience is how vital the charity is as a safety net and how we need to raise awareness so that others can know they are not alone. I 100% think that this is one of the best charity initiatives. I would encourage everyone that feels like life is getting them down to go and lift some of that weight off.
Andy’s Man Club now has clubs in Scunthorpe and Stoke as well as across the country.