Mandem Meetup host weekly talking circle battling stigma around men’s mental health

Mandem Meetup, a judgement-free talking circle which hosts weekly sessions at The Village Hall at Great Northern Warehouse, is launching a series of poetry workshops to help men combat mental health struggles.

The community group has kick-started 2023 with ‘Poetic Hooligans’ a series of workshops which encourage men to talk about their struggles and express themselves in an artistic way.

The monthly workshop welcomes men of all creative abilities to write poems, songs, and chants that embrace masculine experiences.

Led by Manchester-based rapper and social justice activist, Magic EKJ, Poetic Hooligans, which has its first session on 17 February, was created to help men across Greater Manchester vocalise personal struggles, learn about themselves, whilst improving their mental health and helping others.

Created by a group of men, who are passionate about removing the stigma surrounding men’s mental health, Mandem Meetup’s mission is to build judgement-free spaces across the city, for anyone who associates as male, to open up and share what’s going on in their lives within a safe and relaxed environment.

The format of the talking circle is simple – men of all ages and walks of life meet up at The Village Hall, once a fortnight, to have a brew and share how they’re feeling, be it physically, emotionally or spiritually.

The mandem walking around Saddleworth Moor

Ben Rutter, Operations Director at Mandem Meetup, said: “As a nation, we’ve come a long way in understanding and supporting mental health, yet men are still treated differently.

“They’re expected to act tough and refrain from opening up to the people close to them, which we completely disagree with.

“We care about our fellow brothers, our mandem, we want them to know that there’s always a safe space for them to share their feelings.

“Mental health is just as important as physical health, and we want to raise awareness for this across Greater Manchester.”

Mark Schofield, Centre Director of Great Northern Warehouse, said: “Mandem Meetup embodies our inclusive and supportive community at Great Northern Warehouse.

“We’re proud of the work they’re doing for mental health and feel confident that they will make a real difference throughout Greater Manchester.”

The Village Hall located on Deansgate Mews at Great Northern Warehouse provides flexible event space for community groups to meet up and connect with like-minded people.

The Mandem Meetup Deansgate Talking Circle is hosted every second Tuesday from 18:00, the next session is 7 February.

The next Poetic Hooligans workshop will take place on 17 February at 19:00-21:00. For future dates check check out their instagram here. 

Both take place at The Village Hall, Deansgate Mews, Great Northern Warehouse, M3 4EW,


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