Telford man gets people 'walking and talking' to combat mental health issues

A Shropshire man is on a mission to tackle men’s mental health issues through walking and talking.

Dan (right) on one of his group  walks
Dan (right) on one of his group walks

Dan Reid, of Shawbirch, near Telford, has launched his new initiative called ‘Men Walking and Talking’ which has been created to support men aged over 18 with their mental and physical health.

“We currently run 11 mental health walks on a weekly basis across towns in Shropshire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Cheshire, Somerset and mid Wales,” said Dan, who set up the first group after struggles with his own mental health.

“After going to see a therapist and working on the reasons I felt the way I did, I was able to start conversations with other men about mental health.

“These conversations demonstrated that it was obvious that men felt there were not enough spaces where they could feel comfortable and were conducive in them being able to open up without fear of judgement.

“We now have fantastic volunteer group leaders who run our walks on a weekly basis. These guys make Men Walking and Talking what it is and have helped to create a culture that it is not weak to speak.”

There are plans to expand further and we also have online men’s groups running on a weekly basis.

Dan completed a business start up course run by Bridgnorth-based consultants Good2Great earlier this year and has now launched his groups as a Community Interest Company – a not-for-profit social enterprise.

“Good2Great gave me an excellent insight into aspects of running a business that were totally new to me, such as marketing and writing a robust business plan," he said.

“I really appreciate the knowledge that the course has given me and the improvements I have been able to achieve in how Men Walking and Talking runs."

The Good2Great Business Programme is funded by Shropshire Council and managed by Telford & Wrekin Council.

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