Bermondsey man sets up men-only walking group to tackle mental health stigma

Josh Salisbury (21 September, 2020)

Scott hopes the group will help men to talk about their feelings

39072Bermondsey resident, Scott Johnson

A Bermondsey man has set up a men’s only walking group to try and battle the stigma surrounding mental health.

Lifelong SE16 resident, Scott Johnson, started the ‘Proper Blokes Club’ at the start of this month, which will meet twice weekly to walk along the Thames.

The 33-year-old hopes that walking can provide a breakthrough to men who are reluctant to talk about their feelings, and provide a community for men to walk and talk.

“A lot of men are quite guarded, even with their close friends,” he said. “It’s called the proper blokes’ club because we’re trying to break down those stereotypes.

“We’re trying to add to a man’s arsenal, to get them to be able to answer questions about how they’re feeling. It’s very hard to get men around in a circle talking about how they’re feeling.”

Scott, a dad to three daughters, said he had experienced poor mental health beginning at 25 which had inspired him to set up the walk and talk group.

“Before that I was just a happy-go-lucky 25-year-old,” he said. “But my mind was all over the place really, it’s only been the past few years that I’ve got back on track really.”

Scott is currently doing a morning walk from HMS Belfast to Rotherhithe every Tuesday morning at 8am and Thursday evening at 6pm.

He plans to carry on the initiative for at least a year, and will leaflet local boozers to reach older men who are not on social media.

Anyone wanting to get involved can contact Scott via email on Scott-Johnson87@hotmail.com.

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