Pleasley man sets up mental health online support group after feeling abandoned by doctors

Michael Klimek, right, Keelan Genders, right
Michael Klimek, right, Keelan Genders, right

Michael Klimek, aged 29, set up a Facebook support group for men suffering with mental health problems, after trying to seek help for his anxiety, depression and panic attacks.

Michael, a lorry driver from Pleasley, was put on a waiting list by his GP after realising he had a problem, and going to his doctor's surgery for help.

After waiting four months for an appointment, Michael then received five hour-long sessions of cognitional behaviour therapy (CBT), which he feels wasn't enough to solve his problems.

As he is now on a waiting list for more sessions, Michael wanted to help others that feel this way, and has been honest about his struggles.

Michael first realised he had problems five years ago, and is waiting for further help through his GP.

He said: "People would listen at first, but then I felt like a burden and that no one wanted to listen.

"Doctors give you tablets that just mask the problems.

"It started off with anxiety, depression and anger. I noticed that I started shaking but I didn't think anything of it until I blew up one day.

"People don't want to deal with it, as it's such a complicated issue.

"I was on the phone to Samaritans a lot, I could talk to them and they wouldn't judge me as it was anonymous.

"I was stuck on a waiting list until I had the five sessions of CBT, but that's all you get. I was discharged before I was ready.

"It's just not enough."

After being discharged from the CBT service, Michael felt he was running out of places to turn to for help.

That's when he had the idea of a private Facebook group for men to help each other with mental health issues, without fear of being judged or laughed at.

He added: "This is a problem which I feel is growing rapidly in men, who do not speak up."

"I run a Facebook group called, The Stable Man, and it’s solely for men suffering with mental health setbacks.

"A huge number of men suffer in silence, as I did for a number of years, but talking is the first step, and my group is helping members all over the globe.

"It’s a place where men can join and openly talk to each other, seek help or advice and to maybe offer help such as recommending a product that helps them, or just a coping method.

"I suffered for years before actual help was given to me, the level of help given to a man, with mental health, is appalling and more and more men, commit suicide before help has reached them.

"Talking helps, which is why I want to get this message across to men, all around the world, that it’s okay to talk."

Michael now runs the Facebook group with a group of men, including his brother-in-law Keelan Genders, aged 21.

The group have to expanded their social media presence, and set up an Instagram page and posting helpful and motivational quotes.

Michael added: "Men have got this perception that they can't be seen to be weak.

"Men have got just as many feelings, but tend not to talk as much.

"Talking does help, especially with someone who has experienced mental health problems and can see the signs.

"Living with mental health problems is torture."

If you are suffering from a mental health problem, please contact the Samaritans on 116 123, or click here