How are you out of 10? | Sophie
We are now six weeks into our sessions with the wonderful Talk Club - a talking and listening club for men,
offering talking groups, sports groups and therapy to help keep you mentally fit.
As part of #MentalFitnessMonth in May, began one-to-one listening support sessions with Ben from Talk Club every Tuesday from 2pm-4pm where every squad member has access to book in a 30-min session to talk about, well, anything really! To check in with themselves and do so in a safe and private space.
We chatted with Ben about how the sessions are going and what other companies can do to make sure their team's mental health is top priority.
HI BEN! HOW ARE YOU TODAY? AND HOW ARE YOU OUT OF 10?
Hi, today I am a solid 8 thank you for asking. How are you? Out of 10?
CAN YOU PLEASE START BY TELLING US A LITTLE ABOUT WHAT TALK CLUB IS, HOW IT ALL CAME ABOUT AND WHY YOU GOT INVOLVED AS A COUNSELLOR?
Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 50 in the UK. 76% of UK suicides are male. A man takes his own life every 90 minutes in the UK. Talk Club wants to change this. Founded in March 2019 it has grown from a small group of men in the back of a pub in Bristol, to a global community of over 3000 men, in nearly 70 groups. Promoting mental fitness and making it acceptable for men to be vulnerable in a safe space.
- Talk and Exercise groups: Football, running, skating etc,
- Talk and Listen Groups: These are peer-to-peer groups where men sit in a circle together and talk and listen, and run in 4 rounds:
💙 How are you? Out of 10? and why,
💙 What are the positives in your life, what are you grateful for?
💙 How are you going to look after your mental fitness this week? (sleep, diet, exercise)
💙 Then finally “How are you now? Out of 10?” – as a checkout.
It’s been designed to create maximum respect for the group. We have a talking ball and no opinions or debate is offered. So the talker does not feel judged and feels truly listened to.
- Therapy groups: where men can go a little deeper with a fully qualified therapist and a trainee.
We now also offer businesses ‘listening support’ sessions as well as Talk and Listen groups and Captains training, where men and women can become a part.
I became involved in Talk Club in the very early days as I was struggling with severe anxiety and this led to mild depression and panic attacks. I went along to a talking and listening group and instantly felt listened to and a part of the community.
I kept going and then became a “captain” (the blokes who run the groups) as I wanted to help others feel this way.
It was being a captain that made up my mind that I wanted to try and help more and started my Therapy training. Talk Club literally changed my life. I am now halfway through and am hoping to qualify in 2 years.
WHY “OUT OF 10”?
Many men find it hard to talk about their feelings. To many, it’s a foreign language they don’t know how to speak. So, we try to help them by asking: How are you? Out of 10? This gives them a starting point. A way to think about how they are, put a number on it and then explain why.
YOU’VE BEEN COMING TO THE SR2 HQ FOR A FEW WEEKS NOW TO TALK TO INDIVIDUALS, ONE-TO-ONE, IN A CONFIDENTIAL SETTING ABOUT HOW THEY ARE FEELING. WITHOUT GOING INTO TOO MUCH DETAIL, HOW DO YOU THINK THESE SESSIONS ARE GOING?
I feel the sessions are going really well.
Many people are coming having never shared their feelings before and I feel through their own honesty and willingness to share their numbers are being raised. They know it is a safe space for them. Without judgement. Yes, some people have been nervous or do not know where to start, but before they know it all comes flowing out.
MANY REPORTS SHOW THAT MEN IN THE UK WERE LESS LIKELY THAN WOMEN TO OPENLY DISCUSS THEIR MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES. AGAIN, WITHOUT GOING INTO TOO MUCH DETAIL, HAVE YOU FOUND THIS REFLECTIVE OF YOUR SESSIONS WITH THE TEAM?
So far, I have seen more men than women and I think this shows that if support is offered without barriers and the men feel safe, they will share what’s on their mind. This is why I think it is great what SR2 is doing is amazing as it will help keep the mental fitness up of all their staff, men and women.
HAVE TALK CLUB WORKED WITH ANY OTHER COMPANIES IN THIS MANNER (NOT NAMING NAMES/ BRANDS) WHAT DID THE RESULTS LOOK LIKE?
Talk Club have begun working with other companies, (but SR2 was the first) offering listening support and groups as well as training Captains. And although it’s only early days it .seems to be having a very positive effect. We have the infrastructure. We can scale it up (or down) to any size business. So if you want to talk about Talk Club Business support in your company drop us an email at Hello@TalkClub.org 🤣
FINALLY, WHAT DOES THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE FOR TALK CLUB? WHAT NEXT?
We will continue to build on our community. Wherever men are we are. We’re hoping to reach 100 clubs by the end of the year. We are going to increase Therapy group offerings and also hope to start one-to-one Therapy.
We are also approaching more and more companies (and companies are approaching us) to help them maintain their staff's mental fitness by listening support So join us, let's get the UK Mentally Fit.
Thanks so much Ben!
Blog by Sophie Eadon