Supporting Men in Conwy

MATES Support Group b

MATES Support Group based in Conwy, supports males and their physical and mental wellbeing

As we approach Men’s Health Week, which runs from 10th-16th June 2024, it’s crucial to highlight the often overlooked aspects of men’s health, including mental wellbeing. This week serves as a poignant reminder of the unique challenges men face. One of the stark realities is the concerning statistics around male suicide rates. According to data from Gov.UK a staggering 73.9% of deaths by suicide (4,931 recorded deaths) between November 2022 and January 2024 were males. 

This month, we talk to Steve at MATES Support Group, based in Conwy, on how they can help locally.

How did MATES start?

MATES Support Group was founded in April 2022 by myself, Gaz and Adam. Working as an Advanced Paramedic Practitioner for 20 years locally, I noticed a rise in mental health presentations and that men struggle to come forward to seek help. So I spoke to two friends; Gaz (owner of L’s Coffee Shop in Conwy who is well known for his work in the community) and Adam (co-owner of CXF Wellbeing in Rhos-on-Sea) and the rest is history! 

MATES was born to provide a safe, non-judgmental space where men can come together and share ideas, models, concepts and stories which may benefit those involved. We share topics we have previously used in our careers, topics of interest, stories or sometimes open the floor for our men to share their experiences. 

Where and when do you meet?

MATES meet monthly on a Tuesday evening at 7pm (dates announced via social media). We are very lucky that the amazing L’s Coffee and Bookshop in Conwy has always supported us and provided us with a home where we can meet. This offers an informal approach, think of it as having a coffee with friends. 

 

MATES Support Group a

MATES Support Group based in Conwy, supports males and their physical and mental wellbeing

What can I expect if I come along?

We provide drinks on arrival and get straight into the session. We start with an ice breaker to encourage engagement then move onto a topic which usually provokes discussion or reflection. Often the men who come do the helping, we merely facilitate. There is no expectation to talk, share or get involved, if someone only wants to listen then that's ok too. We have had men from all backgrounds and ages; from police officers, nurses, labourers, teachers to mechanics, the list is endless. The common goal being that they want a couple of hours away from normal life to learn and help each other.

Do you do anything else?

We have recently experimented with ‘more MATES’ involving a cold water sea dip and a walk up Aber Falls, which we are looking to expand on. We are also looking at ‘MATES on the move’, where we visit other areas on request to deliver a session. 

How can the community support you?

What's evident is that the local community has really got behind us and we are always so thankful for the sign posting, comments, messages, shares on social media and donations of support. Keep an eye on social media (MATES Support Group) for event dates or message support@matessupportgroup.co.uk if you need to talk to us.