New Northamptonshire men's mental health group on a mission to recruit more numbers

Nick is the face behind Men's Minds Matter and helps to encourage members to speak about their wellbeing.Nick is the face behind Men's Minds Matter and helps to encourage members to speak about their wellbeing.
Nick is the face behind Men's Minds Matter and helps to encourage members to speak about their wellbeing.

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The support group was set up by an armed forces verteran who served on operational tours in Iraq, Kosovo and Afghanistan

Nick Wilson, 43, from Towcester, has launched a mental health support group to support men with a 'lack of identity and purpose'.

The group, Men's Minds Matter, was set up three weeks ago with just two members before going on to recruit 24 men who get together every Saturday morning for a walk and talk.

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Nick, who battles PTSD and anxiety after his 14 year stint in the army, has seen soaring engagement through Facebook from people concerned about their welfare.

He said he was inspired to create the group after finding it difficult to get professional support for his mental health.

He said: "I have been witnessing an increase in the number of suicides among the veterans and men in society generally.

"It is heartbreaking as I know all too well how everyone of them is preventable. If only we could reach out to them and show there are always options and you can regain control of elements of your life, with some guidance and support from those around you and peers within a support group should you not have anyone else.

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"I personally haven't had a social or support group since leaving the army eight years ago and my whole life the past three years has been my partner, but when we seperated in September last year, I found myself totally alone. Then covid kicked in and even adult social services wasn't there for me. It was an incredibly tough time and that is when I had all the tools, training, skills and experience behind me. It doesn't mean you are infallible and I do not want for any guy to experience what I did the past few months or even what I experienced these past few years covid aside."

On Saturday, August 1, the group is meeting at Cre8 and is in Whittons Lane, Towcester, for a painting session and have the option to bring their families along.

Nick added: "Guys are struggling with a lack of meaning, purpose and identity, while being left confused about their own masculinity and what it means to actually be a man in 2020.

"With women being empowered to grow, develop and evolve into a much more stronger, focused, independant and driven version of themselves than four or five decades ago, men have not had anywhere near the same level of empowerment and it has been left to how males are brought up generationally, with old fashioned values, expectations and perceptions.

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"We have had such positive responses from every single guy who has attended. This isn't from a group of middle aged men either, we have a range of ages from mid-twenties through to early fifties and from all walks of life, with different backgrounds and cultures, so it has been a real privilege and I am truly humbled to be a part of these guys journeys."

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