A new club to encourage men to talk has been launched in Elgin – and now it needs participants.
Will Hall has started the first Scottish branch of the men’s mental fitness group Talk Club in Scotland.
He believes that no-one showing up for the first three attempts at meetings just highlights how bad men are at speaking about how they feel.
Elgin City Football Club has offered up a meeting place for the new group, which happens every second Wednesday at 5.30pm.
The next meeting is May 24 and Will is urging men not to be shy and to give it a chance.
Will, 29, moved to Elgin from Winchester two years ago. He is an outdoor instructor who teaches children and adults about nature.
He said: “Part of my job is looking at mental health and how getting people outside in nature can help.
Not a lot of mental health support ‘particularly for men’
“One of the things that struck me when I came up here was that there wasn’t a lot of mental health support, particularly for men.
“Talk Club is just about trying to get men talking.
“We start by asking, ‘how are you? Out of 10?’. By asking men to give themselves a rating about how they feel, mentally and physically, that acknowledgement of how they are feeling can help to nudge people to take action about how they feel.
“In future weeks there will be a physical element too ranging from running to frisbee or football.”
He is not put off by the lack of attendance so far. Will said: “It’s probably a testimony to the fact that perhaps men are not very good at trying new things.
Why does it matter?
“Being able to work on your mental health is really important and it’s not something that men are very good at.
“It can be intimidating to start with, but the first step is just to come along and meet people.
“I had never thought about my mental health before, and now I do, I feel better for it.”
Next Will is trying to reach out to more people. He has linked up with Moray Wellbeing Hub, which offers mental wellbeing support throughout Moray.
And he has received private messages from people who are interested, but not quite ready to talk. Yet.
He added: “I’m confident numbers will pick up.”
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