A few words from Sinead at Serendipity…
Since [WHEN?] we have worked together to provide funded counselling places to support men’s mental health.
The guys at Menfulness offer a social inclusion programme which offers activities such as social circuits, football, running and they even have an allotment. They bring men together to socialise, exercise, enjoy themselves, talk and let off steam in a non-judging, friendly and supportive environment. They recognised that, on average, for every 10 guys who attended an activity there was 1 who needed professional mental health support that they could not provide. That’s where Serendipity Counselling comes in.
Serendipity has provided over 300 hours of counselling for Menfulness. Over 40 men have now accessed sessions. All Menfulness referrals report 100% meaningful positive change and referrals from partners in the community report 96% experience meaningful positive change or maintaining stable wellbeing.
We know the main factors leading men to access therapy as; advice from their partners, GP or a trusted source. Menfulness are that trusted and respected source. The way they use their own life experiences and openess about their counselling has broken down barriers to accessing help within their client group. Around a third of men have been found not to have accessed care at all without these influences which suggests that it is difficult for men to access support of their own volition. Once in therapy it was found that the male clients would be more likely to seek help in the future of their own volition. This may mean that clients with experience of previous therapy are more open to future therapy.
The impact of not seeking help can be detrimental to society and the individual. Male suicide is higher than female suicide in almost all countries across the world. In the UK suicide rates in men have been rising and young men are considered to be a particular risk. Areas identified as needing work to support the reduction of these rates are prevention interventions, service provision and awareness. Emphasis on where these areas of support come from is an important aspect, identifying a need for trusted individuals and informal settings. This type of carefully thought-out approach to providing support aims to encouraging help seeking whilst taking into consideration barriers such as masculine traits of difficulty in seeking help.
We are proud of the work we have done and would like to thank those who have supported us over the year. Jo Kent, Humber Coast and Vale NHS Foundation Trust, Andy Chapman, Suicide Prevention Lead, City of York, York St John, Teeside, Leeds Beckett and Derby Universities for their counselling, psychotherapy and psycholgy PhD and MA/PGDip placement students.
Director and Lead Counsellor