Bottled Up Blokes organiser, Tim Cox

Men in the East Midlands have found a new friend in Bottled Up Blokes, a men’s mental health support group.

The group has been acting as a listening ear to anyone who wants to share their problems within their free peer support groups.

Their sessions have been running every Thursday night at 7:30pm since April 2022.

Organiser Tim Cox set up the group due to his own mental health struggles: “I struggle myself with depression and my mental health hasn’t been great. I wanted to give a platform to men where they can open up.

“That’s one of the biggest problems with men.”

AUDIO: Tim Cox, organiser of Bottled Up Blokes, says it is time to end the stigma around men’s mental health

The group has listened to local men of all ages, even people as young as 17.

Bottled Up Blokes which is based in South Normanton also has a private Facebook group which has had contributors from as far away as Australia.

Bottled Up Blokes secretary, Matt Harwood

Matt Harwood remembers only missing one session and has recently been offered the role of secretary for the group.

He found his mental health struggles started over concerns about his job security in lockdown.

“The tablets are helping me but I feel like Bottled Up Blokes have almost saved me”, he said.

Adrian Jackson attends Bottled Up Blokes and has also found that his work as a truck mechanic impacts his mental health: “the work I do is quite male dominated.

“It’s always been put on you that you don’t talk about things, you just get on with it.”

AUDIO: Adrian Jackson, Bottled Up Blokes attendee, talks about sharing problems with his workmates

He is a school friend of Tim Cox who had not spoken to him in over 20 years when he went to the first ever meet-up.

Like many, Adrian Jackson attends the peer support sessions regularly, rarely missing a Thursday evening.

“He texted me on his wedding day to say your help and your group has literally changed everything for me”
tim cox, organiser, bottled up blokes

From fundraisers and coffee mornings to a game of bowling in the evening, Bottled Up Blokes’ organiser Tim Cox has reflected on the year since the support sessions started: “It’s gone a lot better than I ever thought it would.

“There was a guy who was getting married and he messaged me on his wedding day to say your help and your group has literally changed everything for me.”

Support available from Bottled Up Blokes:

  • Well-being coffee morning, Alfreton Town Impact Arena – every other Friday 10am-1pm.
  • Peer support sessions, South Normanton Church Hall – every Thursday 7:30pm.
  • Private Facebook group – anonymous posting is available.
  • Bottled Up Blokes! Opened Up Podcast – available wherever you get your podcasts.

Cox hopes he can help more people: “I think more needs to be done – the NHS can’t keep up”.

Eventually he would like to create more peer support groups across the East Midlands.