Talk Club is a talking group for men.

Men don’t talk. They don’t seem to know how to. But they need to.

The idea is to create a national talking group network  - and then develop a support community for men, to help with their mental health. 

Inspired by the experiences of the founders in the making of "Steve"

With a goal to help men help themselves to stay mentally fit.

 It's about the prevention of mental ill health and depression, before things begin to crack. 

Getting men to set aside real time to talk to each other.

Talk Club will tell them how to do it, and support them, but they are the ones helping themselves. 

`It’s mental health action, not just mental health awareness.

We're doing this because suicide is the biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK.  
12  men a day. One every 2 hours.  

We're doing this because most blokes don’t know how to talk. 
They say words, but they don’t really open up on how they are feeling.
 They let things that are worrying them build up and up. 
Because being strong and silent about our problems is what being a man is all about.

They can’t really moan to their wives about certain things (that might be something they need to talk about) or they might feel some things are too trivial to bother people with, but stresses are the things that get us down. Talk club will be a space for them to do that.

And although our friends are there for us, do we ever really give them the chance to help and listen? 

It’s like being physically healthy, but just for your brain.
So have a mental kick about. 

So how does it work?

This is what we will be telling men: 


Find a quiet space.  
It doesn’t have to be behind closed doors, but it does need to be somewhere where everyone feels comfortable enough to open up.

6 - 8 men to a Talk.  
We recommend 6 – 8 mates in each group. Less is cool. More is fine. 
Just make sure there is enough time for everyone to talk. 

Keep it regular. 
Every week. Every fortnight. Every month. Whatever you decide; keep it consistent. This allows you to build yourself up for the next meeting.

Keep it in Talk Club.  
The things you talk about should stay between you guys. Talking about the existence of the group is fine. In fact it’s encouraged, just don’t share what others have said. This creates a safe space for everyone to be open and honest.

Have a start and end point. 
Kick off at 7.30 to 9.30 or 8-10. You don’t need to do this but it’s good to have some structure, even if it’s rough. 2 hours is a good amount of time. Talk for as long as you need.  But create a final whistle. It’ll help.

It’s Social not a Piss-Up.
 Having a drink is ok. Maybe 2. But make it social - don’t get pissed. 
Normal group therapy happens away from alcohol for a reason. But this is Talking. So if it makes you relax then cool. Just don’t let the alcohol take over.  If you arrive feeling stressed, why not start on a softy.

Be positive. 
This is an easy one as you are already all friends (or friends of friends). (Delete 'But') If you all try to be really supportive, you will all get more out of it.  Banter is good. Laugh, joke, be silly, but be positive.

The Ball. 
Have a ball, or a cup, or a spoon, any object really that you can pass around to signal it's that person's time to talk when they are holding it.  A rule of good group therapy is to take it in turns to talk and to not speak over each other. So, if you have a rule that only the person holding the object can talk, it makes it equal and even. So talk and pass it on.   

You need one person to kick it off, their honesty will set the tone, so who is it?

1. How are you, out of 10?  
Out of 10 rate how you are feeling?  (Try to avoid the automatic “7” reply.)
Are you feeling a 4 or an 8 or a 2. Be honest. Then try and explain why do you feel that way. 

2. What’s on your shoulders? 
What’s worrying you? Dragging you down? Keeping you awake? What haven’t you told people? Take the weight off. Talk about it.

3. What’s good in your life?  
What are you happy about? What one moment from the last week are you grateful for?

4. What’s your plans for Mental Fitness this week?  
Exercise? Learning? Walk every lunch time? 
Give yourself some ‘me time’ - daily.  Saying it out loud means you’re more likely to do it. 

Stay with it. It might take a few meetings to get used to it but it will be worth it.   
That’s it, at it’s basic level.
We’ll be encouraging people to set up their own Talk Clubs as we tour the Steve documentary in Pubs around the country. 

But our goal is to build a series of resilience workshops, content and eventually offer free counselling sessions for those who need more than the talking groups. 

So we need funding to help set it up, spread the word and build the support.  
But it all starts with the first conversation so #letstalk.



  • Richard Doyle 
    • £50 
    • 7 mos


Ben Akers 
Bristol, ENG
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