Mental health: Two men set up an awareness group after friend took his own life

Jordan Mapp and Billy Webb revealed plans to start ‘Matt’s Meet Up’ earlier this month.

The Leicester-based group will give men a chance to talk about what’s on their minds, in a non-judgmental environment.

They don’t have any medical experience or training - they’re “just relatively normal people” - but they wanted to create a space for men to open up about life’s challenges.

Mapp and Webb decided to start the group after their friend, Matt Western-Smith, tragically and suddenly took his own life last year.

“Matt was a funny, caring person,” Mapp told Express.co.uk. “He really had nothing bad to say about anyone.

“He passed away last year, and at the time we didn’t know what was happening with him,” added Webb.

“It just goes to show that sometimes you don’t know about it until it’s too late.”

Maybe if he could tell someone how he was feeling, Western-Smith would still be with them today, the friends said.

Creating an environment for men to talk about what’s on their mind may prevent something similar happening to other people, said Mapp and Webb.

After finding inspiration from another community group for men - Andys Man Club - they decided to begin Matt’s Meet Up.

“I found that speaking to a doctor about mental health was difficult - maybe it was a pride thing,” said Mapp. “But, I found it much easier to talk to friends about it afterwards.

“That’s how we came up with the idea.”

The community group has been backed by the University of Leicester, and local colleges, they said.

Their Facebook post about the group has also been shared more than 1,200 times, and they’ve received “really supportive messages”, they added.

The first meeting is due to begin on January 16, at 7.30pm.

“Mental health is something we should be talking about, and we believe doing just that will make a big difference.”



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