Robert Osman from Bristol, UK, started his unique men group, "Dudes and dogs" after realizing that walking his dog in the fresh air was the only thing that helped him during times of anxiety and depression in his life.
Osman defines "Dudes & Dogs" as a Community Interest Group created with one simple premise. To get men out in the fresh air together for a walk and talk. We want men to understand that it's not just okay to talk, it's important"
On his website, Robert goes on to explain: "Although the stigma seems to be lessening, many men suffering from depression never speak up. Most of us feel the need to bottle everything up and "soldier through" tough times, but everyone needs someone to talk to, even the toughest of us. It's not in a weird way, it's just clearing my emotions and resetting. I'm not doing anything unique, everyone knows dogs are good for you, it's good to get fresh air, it's good to talk. It's just combining all those in one place – it's created a safe space. The number of messages I get from blokes saying, 'if it wasn't for my dog, I wouldn't be here' that's pretty common sadly. You have this impression when you're struggling is that you're completely alone on this and no one would understand how you feel. It wasn't until I started going out with these guys that I realized I'm far from unique – it's common as muck."
What a great initiative!