A north-east woman is hoping to get people on board to create a mental health support group for men.
Karen Mutch who has already established three peer support groups in Aberdeenshire this year for women, is hoping to set up a similar group for men and has launched an appeal for volunteers to step forward.
Ms Mutch, who lives in Crimond said: “Since setting up the groups, I’ve been approached several times by people asking about a support group for men.
“As well as running the three groups, I also have children and a job, and while I’m pleased the current groups help people, I need some support to make this possible.”
The plans for the male support group are still in their early stages and although the group does not have a name yet, it’s hoped it will extend from Balmedie to Fraserburgh.
Ms Mutch, who has already completed a Mental Health First Aid Course is looking for three volunteers to become mental health first aiders.
She said: “The role of mental health first aiders is to recognise the symptoms of mental health, so they can support those affected. This will help create a safe environment for people to share what they’re going through.”
Although ideas are “still being put forward” the male support groups are likely to offer similar activities to the female support groups.
Ms Mutch added: “At the support groups for women, we currently offer craft activities and the opportunity to talk over tea and cakes.”
Other activities at the weekly meetings include special activities such as yoga sessions and talks from guest speakers.
Her long-term plan for the male group is to set up a mental health peer support charity that would be based in Bridge of Don. To make this feasible, she is looking for five trustees to help with the running of the charity.
And she has already asked Brett Townsley, who supported her through her mental health first aid training, to become a trustee.
Mr Townsley said: “I am blown away by what Karen has achieved so far and it is a real honour to be asked to become a trustee.”
“Having a military background, mental health issues are important to me and it’s great to be involved in something that will help people.”