Monday, June 14, 2021
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West Leeds: New website aims to support men’s mental health

A new website has been launched to break down the stigma around men’s mental health. 

The Leeds Listening Room is a platform where men can practice basic skills that will enhance the way they live their lives. As the site grows, a forum will be introduced where men can talk to others who are in a similar situation for help, advice and more importantly friendship.

One of the people behind the project is Michael Howard, who started working for Armley Helping Hands three years ago. He said:

“I noticed that men who came to our base of operations were struggling to share their feelings and found it hard to talk about what struggles they were facing. I approached my CEO and discussed setting up a space where men could come to and talk openly about how they were feeling.

“We started what we called ‘the listening room’ in October 2020 in the middle of the Covid pandemic. The idea was quite simple: we would give people a space where they could talk to a trained member of our team about any issues they had or just to have someone they could discuss day to day anxieties with.

“The listening room became popular and one of the things we noticed was that there was a large number of men who wanted to access our service. We decided to take this concept forward and have an online platform where men could book online sessions in the listening room and learn basic skills to empower men to look after themselves.”

Mr Howard approached Leeds City Council Public Health to discuss his idea and they agreed to give provide the funding to set the project up. He added:

“The website is a place where men can book an appointment to access the Listening Room, or they can use it to update skills in a way that is fun and friendly.

“We offer basic skills in CookingDIYKeeping fit and Gardening. We have also listed community agencies that can be contacted in your local areas around Leeds.”

There are a number of buttons that lead to various activities and videos ranging from DIY, Cooking, Gardening and organisations around Leeds.

The website has access to the central booking service for the Listening Room.  The Listening Room is a space where men can access a trained listener in a non-judgemental and supportive environment. 

Armley Helping hands is based at Strawberry Lane Community Centre in Armley.

To book a free and confidential appointment people can request a visit via the new web page or  call Michael on 0113 2799292. E-mail michael.howard@armleyhelpinghands.org or info@LeedsListeningRoom.org.

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