Maori friends are getting back on track

Date published: 14 September 2018

Men actively overcoming and reducing isolation are getting back on track with new friends at the Maori Men’s Group.

Maori is a group started to combat the stigma around men’s mental health, combat loneliness and provide support for the struggles that men face.

Men are nearly three times more likely than women to become alcohol dependent, and less likely to seek support for depression and anxiety.

Action Oldham Fund awarded the grant to set up Maori, which would provide a social and safe space.

This allows men to meet new friends and offer a range of beneficial activities for the group’s members, encouraging them to socialise outside their own homes.

The group has been an escape for men who battle with mental health issues and have become isolated.

The members have praised the group for allowing them to meet new people and replace unhealthy, solitary lifestyles with positive activity.

There has been noticeable change in the members of the group as it has built up their confidence in social situations.

Family and friends of the members have commented on how the group has been central to transforming the lives of the men.

One man’s partner spoke enthusiastically about this change. She said: "This group does him the world of good."

Action Oldham

Steve York, the founder of Maori, said: “The Action Oldham funding was vital to starting the Men's Group.  

"Through a range of activities and experiences we have addressed isolation and loneliness.

"We have seen the men grow in confidence, support each other and become involved in organising future activities. It's so rewarding to see such a change.”

Below are some comments from members of the group -

"It’s the best thing that could have happened to me, thanks for telling me about this place."

"I look forward to this group every week."

"In this group I'm just me, not that bloke with mental problems."

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