Gloucestershire Man Launches Free Mental Health Support Call For Overwhelmed Men
He says "working with couples has been the hardest work I've done so far. Mainly because you are dealing with two people who have completely different backgrounds, experiences and ways of dealing with stress. But I do feel I've always had a real heart for helping men to deal with their upbringing, their adult family life and the stress that they so often succumb to and struggle to talk about.
Women - not all of them of course - open up about their life, their past and their emotions relatively easy. They have already had experience of talking with friends quite deeply. My wife tells me that when she was in secondary school, she would spend all day with her friends at school and then come home and spend all evening speaking with them on the phone. I on the other hand spent my days with boys but playing sports rather than talking. When I got home I would go and play more but our communication was much more surface level. And this was re-inforced in our families too."
The purpose of the men's call Benjamin says is to provide a space where men can start to communicate in an environment free of judgment. So far the uptake has been slow which Benjamin says he expected. He says "men don't look for this kind support very often, they deny they need help and even when they know they do - or their wives tell them they do - it takes a lot of effort to take the next step. That's why I'm making the call as simple as possible. It's one hour a week and they can simply dial in and not say a word. They get to listen to the likes of us that do like talking about our feelings and hopefully in time they'll start to open up themselves too. But at worst they'll spend some virtual time in an environment that says it's OK to be vulnerable, to not have it all together, to feel lost, overstretched, depressed. Everyone feels these things, but not everyone is ready to talk about them.
If this mens call helps just one man open up then it's worth it, but my hope is that it supports and helps many".
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The Marriage People