TALK CLUB is a behaviour-changing movement aimed at getting men to talk more openly about their thoughts, feelings, worries and dayto-day gripes (and all the positive stuff too!). We want to create as many safe and confidential spaces across the UK (and the world) where men can meet regularly to talk, and listen to each other. We are here to encourage and support men across the globe, to set up their own TALK CLUB. TALK CLUB is a legacy of the documentary Steve, inspired by the suicide of a childhood friend of Ben, one of our Founders.
How does your organisation contribute to preventing suicide and supporting those affected by it?
TALK CLUB is a movement that aims to help men further “upstream” as part of a preventative method of looking after mental health. We believe that good mental health is something that requires constant work – rather than something that just takes care of itself – and this can make more sense if we refer to it as ‘mental fitness’. We can look after our mental fitness through good physical fitness, sleeping well, eating well, relaxing, socialising and, of course, talking. Whilst TALK CLUB is not a therapy group, we believe that talking regularly about what’s going on in our day-to-day lives (and from listening to others), we become more self-aware and can benefit from the release from a potential negative thought process. In short, getting it off your chest before it manifests into something unhealthy. By encouraging men to take ownership of their mental fitness, we are empowering them. Beyond this, we are also part of the conversation that is breaking the stigma about men’s mental health. We want to normalise it so that men everywhere see the benefits of talking and opening up and, of course, seeking professional help if they do begin to struggle. While TALK CLUB does not directly support those bereaved by suicide, we are, of course, an available resource for someone who is. We also believe that, having been inspired by the suicide of a friend of one of our Founders, and by talking frankly about this subject, we are enabling those affected to feel more comfortable in discussing it openly.
What are your current priorities?
Our current priorities are becoming a thriving and sustainable business so that we can continue to grow across the UK and the world. We want to see Talk Clubs opening up everywhere. We are working on a project in Bristol with the Council to start 15 new Talk Clubs in six months, and we’d like to expand this project out to other areas. We want to be part of the solution across the UK.
What challenges are you currently facing?
The recent lockdown due to Covid-19 initially closed down all our physical meet ups. In response to this, we encouraged our community to start online groups, which were a great success. As the lockdown relaxed to small gatherings outdoors, it fast-tracked us piloting Talk & Run groups and Run & Cycle groups in Bristol. Now, we are keen to get all the physical groups back up and running as soon as is safely possible and within Government guidelines.