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New website aims to help men deal with mental health issues

Richard Crisp. Photo: Sharp Comms

Richard Crisp. Photo: Sharp Comms

Sharp Comms

Three friends from Norfolk who have all experienced struggles with mental health have launched website to provide advice to others suffering in a similar way.

Man Stress – founded by Richard Crisp, of Watlington, near King’s Lynn – is described as a forum “where anyone can contribute without fear of ridicule, derision or stigmatisation”.

Many of the articles posted were written by Richard and the site’s co-creators Paul Charnock, of Norwich, and Stuart Walton, of Great Yarmouth.

Readers can submit their own articles – anonymously if they prefer – and can find details of organisations offering advice. They can also subscribe for the latest news, blogs and events to be delivered to their email address.

Married father-of-one Richard, 64, an auditor in the construction industry, said: “Throughout my life whenever my brain sensed I was under ‘attack’ it was automatically triggering a series of completely irrationally and crazy behaviour patterns in an attempt to protect me.

“So I went in search of some answers which, initially, was difficult because I didn’t have a clue what question to ask. But slowly, by attending lectures, reading, listening to CDs and browsing the internet I began to find answers and solutions to these ridiculous behaviour patterns.

“In doing so, I discovered so much about the mechanics of the human mind that I felt compelled to put pen to paper in the hope that I might help others deal with their own but unique internal struggles.”

Richard – who in 2015 self-published a book documenting his mental health battles - added: “We will write openly and honestly about our own mental health struggles and invite others to contribute anonymously or openly. Man Stress is intended to describe everyday problems men face and offer solutions through the experiences of others for longer-term recuperation and recovery from mental health issues, written in layman terms.

“As a general rule men are conditioned not to talk openly about internal struggles and this is one of the major contributors to us developing extremely unpleasant and sometimes life-threatening mental and physical health problems.”

Richard, Paul and Stuart – who collectively refer to themselves on Man Stress as ‘the tribe’ – have all found the creation of their labour of love beneficial in helping them overcome their worst experiences of anxiety, stress and depression.

Paul, 36, a web designer, said: “The idea of Man Stress was born when myself, Richard and Stuart decided to combine our experiences in sharing our stories and allowing men to share theirs, so the cycle of men not talking about depression, anxiety and stress is not stopped, but at least interrupted. I’m proud to be part of this new venture, tackling the silent killer of men: stress.”

Stuart, 52, a freelance writer, added: “I’m excited about being brutally honest with my struggles and what I’ve done to save myself and my family from me and my subconscious. The past four years have been challenging and I don’t want anyone to suffer like I have. I want others to learn about the script. I want others to be part of this venture.”

• For more information, visit www.manstress.co.uk

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