Who says men don’t care?

Learning from each other

ManMade in Birmingham, is a six-week peer support programme.

It brings men together under one roof to discuss stuff that affects them. It gives them the chance to understand why they are the way they are and what changes they could make in their lives to make it better for them.

Some of what is learnt comes from the information provided by the facilitators. However, most of the learning comes from the men themselves. This is because they have the opportunity to discuss their own lives. A time to talk about a range of challenges including identity, mental health, physical health, wellbeing, loss and even death.

Which men?

ManMade leaders have worked with a range of organisations to work with men most vulnerable when it comes to mental health and poor wellbeing. This has included unemployed men, men in recovery, men experiencing loss, men in prison and most recently, men who are carers.

Working with men who care

Caring is often seen by many in society as a ‘female’ issue but it is something that affects a large number of men too, in fact, the last census in 2011 found that in England and Wales nearly 2.5 million men were providing unpaid care for a friend or family member due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction.

A more recent study by the Carers trust highlighted that 56% of the Carers they talked to provided 60 plus hours of care per week.

So, in 2018, ManMade facilitators teamed up with Home Group in Birmingham to work with some of the male carers who receive support from this specialist organisation supporting carers across the UK.

Of the 10 men that attended throughout the programme, it was clear that male Carers definitely felt benefit from the ManMade approach in discussing subjects often avoided by men.

This is what some of the chaps told us about their ManMade experience:

“I enjoyed the course, it was easy to keep up with and was really interesting.”

“This is a great programme. A real eye opener into men’s lives and mental health.”

“A good experience. Very positive. A variety of subjects covered in a relaxed manner.”

“The ManMade approach allows conversations to flow without strictly sticking to an agenda.”

“I found listening to the point of views and different perspectives on such sensitive topics that do relate to me very useful.”

“We weren’t talked down to or just handed a lot of written material. Instead we were encouraged to talk and share our opinions on these topics.”



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If you want to hear more about our work at Common Unity then please get in touch with us >>>> https://www.common-unity.org/contact/


Because there’s no strength in silence


Man Made is a forward-thinking programme that supports men between the ages of 20 and 60 to realise their full potential – a tailored 8-week programme providing participants with the skills and knowledge to support their own health and well-being. 

Despite the general public perception, the suicide rate of men in mid-life has been comparable to younger men. In the last eight years though suicides in younger men have reduced whilst for men in their mid-years there has been an increase. But this is not just a challenge of age – when it comes to suicide there are a range of associated inter-related factors that can bring an individual to feel in such a state of despair that they literally believe they would be better off dead.

Associated factors for men, and women, include social inequality, deprivation, health inequalities and financial inequality as well as, in the case of many men particularly, an underlying ongoing challenge of male identity – this is where we need to consider what characteristics are deemed important when a man compares himself to his peers and how can we tackle those characteristics which prevent men from seeking help?

With the recession having hit hard across the UK and no less hard in the West Midlands in the last few years, the effect of unemployment experienced by many men twinned with a range of other associated factors that often follow on, means that despair for many individuals in this situation can result, in the most tragic of cases, in death by suicide.

The ManMade Dudley Programme was established in February 2015 as a pilot programme that engages unemployed men from the area to best support them emotionally and practically in taking best care of their own mental health and well-being. This evaluation looks to cover all the aspects of ManMade, both its successes and challenges, in the hope that firstly, the learning from the programme can be cascaded to best realise a greater understanding of the complexities of men as well as secondly, providing a knowledge platform where this programme or future off-shot programmes be developed further for the benefit of the wider cohort.

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