Mancave Movement to start weekly meetings in Bognor Regis

A mental health non-profit in Bognor Regis has announced it will be hosting weekly meetings in The Track.

The Mancave Movement, a Bognor Regis non-profit, which was founded last year by former town councillor Simon McDougall, has announced it will be running regular meetings in The Track, at the Bognor Regis railway station.

The new organisation hopes to start a healthy, comprehensive conversation about men's mental health, encouraging participants to open up about problems with depression, anxiety, trauma and other related issues.

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"I want to support the next generation of men so that they can face the challenges of life knowing there is help and support within the local community for them," Mr McDougall said after announcing the group last year.

Simon McDougall, CEO of the Mancave Movement

The group will be celebrating its new home with a launch on Saturday, February 5 between 12 and 2pm. Fellow director and town councillor Wayne Smith said the facilities should have everything the group needs to support men's mental health in Bognor Regis.

"There's a side unit we're renting and it's got the facilities for workshops. There are also side rooms so we can do one-to-one sessions if we need to. It's got its own kitchen, its own toilets. Everything."

After the launch, the group plans to meet every Thursday night at the The Track between 7 and 9 pm, giving participants an open platform on which to discuss their mental health and wellbeing.

"We're setting this up as a kind of buffer," Mr Smith said. "Because people do reach out to the NHS, but they're told 'not a problem, come and see us in a month's time.' Which, for someone that's really in need of help, is no good.

"It gives people the chance to come in and do what they want to do. Have a cup of tea, sit with everyone else and have a chat. It's a chance to find out that you're not alone, that there are other people out there who also need help, who are also struggling. And if they feel more comfortable with a one-to-one we have the facilities to do that."

Mr McDougall, alongside the organisation's other members, hope to one day establish branches all over Sussex, and see this as a vital first step in the nascent movement's growth.

Fittingly, then, directors say there is already demand for the Mancave Movement's particular brand of solidarity and support.

"We've had a few people reaching out to us already," Mr Smith said. "There's been a real response. It's about encouraging people to talk. For us older blokes, we were always told 'suck it up and get on with it,' and that's what has to change. Doesn't matter who you are, everybody needs help and there's no shame it reaching out for it."