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Men's support group 'Andy's Man Club' in Newton Abbot saves lives

Andy's Man Club has the slogan 'It's okay to talk' and it's saving lives. Credit: ITV West Country

A support group for men suffering from stress or mental heath problems in South Devon will soon be expanding into Exeter and Plymouth.

Andy's Man Club in Newton Abbot, which meets every Monday at the Liaise Bistro, says it has already saved the lives of men contemplating taking their own lives.

Paul Curtis was severely depressed and says Andy's Man Club saved his life. Credit: ITV West Country

Former prison officer Paul Curtis suffered from overwhelming depression and says Andy's Man Club has saved his life.

Every day I was just putting the same mask on. Yes, I had problems but I just forgot about them and just got on with it.

And then one day it was just enough and I went up to Dartmoor and tried to end it.

Andy's Man Club was the start of my voice and, well, it saved my life.

– Paul Curtis
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The club is described as "a talking group, a place for men to come together in a safe environment to talk about issues and problems they have faced or are currently facing".

Its slogan is "It's okay to talk."

The Newton Abbot group meets at Liaise Bistro every Monday. Credit: Andy's Man Club

The owner of the Newton Abbot bistro, where the group meets, says it challenges stereotypes that men should "man up" and just carry on.

The idea behind it is just trying to break the stigma that men are and able to talk to each other without the stigma of going 'I'm too macho not to talk'.

– Adam Fletcher, Bistro owner
  • Find out more about Andy's Man Club, Newton Abbot on Facebook
  • Access the Andy's Man Club website

Most people who are thinking of taking their own life have shown warning signs beforehand.

These can include becoming depressed, showing sudden changes in behaviour, talking about wanting to die and feelings of hopelessness.

These feelings do improve and can be treated.

If you are concerned about someone, or need help yourself, please contact the Samaritans on 116 123.