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Five heroic community groups leading the charge for good mental health

Discover how five remarkable community groups in Manchester are championing mental well-being with their own unique approaches

As #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek shines a spotlight on the importance of mental well-being, it’s crucial to recognise the local heroes making a difference right here in Manchester.

From providing safe spaces for open dialogue to encouraging artistic expression, and even using animals to boost mental health, these community groups are doing some amazing work in the city.

Sometimes there are signs you can look out for in your friends, but often there are no signs in people going through a mental health crisis.

It’s never been more vital to look out for each other.

So if you, or someone you know, needs a mental health boost this #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek – why not check out these amazing community groups?

Talk about it, Mate

Talk About it Mate #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek
The Talk About it, Mate team

Talk About It Mate is a group offering support and solace to those battling their inner demons. Founded by Mike Richard, who turned his own struggles into a platform for change, this social enterprise champions early intervention, providing a lifeline to individuals before their mental health spirals into crisis.

With mental health services stretched thin, Talk About It Mate fills a crucial gap, encouraging open dialogue about mental well-being. In a society where anxiety, stress, and depression afflict individuals of all ages, the organisation is a safe haven for those hesitant to share their struggles.

If you’re looking to open up, but aren’t sure where to start, or even if you want to – this is a great place to feel welcome and share your troubles with people going through the same thing.

Talk About It Mate invites anyone in need of support to join their community and discover their tribe.

Check out their website here

Girls Who Walk Manchester

Girls Who Walk

Ella Thompson, fueled by her own experience of post-university loneliness, sparked a revolution in Manchester with Girls Who Walk.

What started as a Facebook message looking for company on walks quickly evolved into a huge phenomenon.

Now, with over 10,000 Instagram followers and chapters in 35 cities, Girls Who Walk Manchester has become an incredibly inclusive place for ladies to meet up, make friends and head off for walks around our fair city.

Recognising the silent epidemic of loneliness among young women, Ella chose communal walks as the antidote. These walks offer a free, sober, and inclusive space for women to meet, move, and share. It’s more than just a stroll; it’s a lifeline for those seeking genuine connections in a digital age.

Check out their website here

Andy’s Man Club


Co-founded by Dan Rowe, this community-led initiative has swiftly grown into a nationwide network of support groups, providing vital assistance to men battling their inner demons.

Born out of tragedy, Andy’s Man Club emerged from the devastating loss of a 23-year-old to suicide. Since its inception in 2016, the organisation has been on a mission to prevent such tragedies by fostering a culture of openness and support among men.

What started as a local initiative in Halifax, West Yorkshire, has blossomed into a national movement, with 154 clubs across the UK.

The heart of Andy’s Man Club lies in its ability to normalise conversations about men’s mental health. In a society where stigma often surrounds vulnerability, the club offers an alternative narrative—one where openness is celebrated, and support is readily available.

Andy’s Man Club offers a multifaceted approach to supporting individuals dealing with mental health issues, including: safe spaces to talk, peer support from people going through similar things, referral services to mental health resources and a support network to help you get through whatever it is you’re facing this #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek.

Check out their website here

Mandem Meet up

Mandem Meetup began with a group of passionate individuals determined to break down the stigma surrounding men’s mental health.

Their mission was simple: to create judgment-free spaces across Greater Manchester where men could openly share their struggles in a safe and relaxed environment.

Their flagship initiative, the Talking Circle at The Village Hall in Great Northern Warehouse, provides a fortnightly opportunity for men to gather, enjoy a brew, and discuss their physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

Building on this foundation, Mandem Meetup launched “Poetic Hooligans,” a series of poetry workshops designed to encourage men to express themselves artistically as a means of combating mental health struggles.

Led by Manchester-based rapper and social justice activist, Magic EKJ, these workshops invite men of all creative abilities to write poems, songs, and chants that embrace masculine experiences.

Through these initiatives, Mandem Meetup aims to empower men to vocalize their struggles, learn about themselves, improve their mental health, and support others in their community.

Check out their website here

Noah’s A.R.T


Noah’s A.R.T. is a groundbreaking mental health support organisation founded by Sharon Hall, a former NHS mental health nurse.

Through the therapeutic power of animals, they offer a unique and inclusive space for individuals of all ages to find solace and healing.

Their services include client-led therapy sessions, outreach programs, and initiatives like the “dog cafe.”

By fostering connections between humans and animals, Noah’s A.R.T. is rewriting the script of mental health care, one paw at a time.

Check out their website here


If you are having a mental health crisis and need help – please try the following numbers for help:
Greater Manchester Mental Health: 0800 953 0285
Samaritans: 116 123
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 0800 689 5652
Crisis Point: 0161 238 5149

Do you know any amazing groups we should highlight this #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek – let us know!

Did we miss something? Let us know: [email protected]

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Manchester is a successful city, but there are many people that suffer. The I Love MCR Foundation helps raise vital funds to help improve the lives and prospects of people and communities across Greater Manchester – and we can’t do it without your help. So please donate or fundraise what you can because investing in your local community to help it thrive can be a massively rewarding experience. Thank you in advance!

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