Depression can affect the vast majority of people at some stages in life. Sometimes the way people respond to it or seek help can differ between men and women.
One aspect in the management of depression is improving social networks.
People with clinical depression tend to withdraw from friends and family. They may become “self-focussed”. Explanation about clinical depression to family and friends by a therapist can help in drawing the person back. Seeing the person working at improving can encourage engagement with the depressed person again.
Support groups can be effective. When depressed people learn that they are not alone, it can help. Establishing and regaining connection with other people is important in combating social isolation. Doing things with others can help to achieve this. A man who is part of a regular men’s group where he can express how he feels is much more likely to manage when he encounters life’s challenges. Hearing other men’s experiences can give hope.
Common Ground is a way of establishing a safe and effective men’s group, where men can be heard and experience deep listening to other men. Common Ground is designed to stimulate awareness and understanding in a non-threatening, confidential and non-competitive environment.
The facilitators do not perform counselling roles but rather participate as equals.
Men find their own solutions through listening to others & sharing from their own experience.
Values of Common Ground:
- Experienced and trained facilitators.
- A safe and confidential space where the guidelines will be followed.
- Regular commitment of participants and facilitators over 9 weeks.
- Interacting with other men without advice, judgement or competition
- Being heard, listened to by other men
- Allows for deep sharing or passing and everything between.
Many Common Ground groups decide to continue meeting informally after their nine-week program is completed – some have been continuing as a regular connection place for several years.
It is common to find a continuing bond of mateship and brotherhood formed amongst group members.
Robert Ah Hoon