About

Our mission:

To provide a safe place for people to come together and connect without fear or judgement. MHM is dedicated to creating a supportive network for people experiencing mental health challenges – providing an opportunity to turn negative experiences into positive ones.

About us:

Mental Health Mates is a network of peer support groups run by people with mental health issues, who meet regularly to walk, connect and exercise and share without fear or judgement. You do not have to have a diagnosed mental health issue to join our meet-ups – everyone has mental health and MHM is here for everyone.

MHM provides a healing environment, but it is not therapy. It is run by people who are not experts in mental illness, but who have endless experience in it. It is peer support at its finest: we have seen people thrive and come alive though our walks, not to mention forming friendships that help people move forward and grow.

How it started:

It started with a tweet. In 2016, Bryony Gordon invited others to join her for a walk around the Serpentine in London. Surprised to see a group of people waiting when she turned up, it was clear that people were responding to Bryony’s invitation to walk and talk without fear or judgment. Since that special day, MHM has grown to become a thriving network of walks across the UK and beyond, organised by members of the community and supported by the MHM team and Wagamama.

“I set up Mental Health Mates when I was really suffering with my own mental health. My obsessive compulsive disorder was terrible, I was depressed and in the grip of alcoholism. I knew that there were other people out there like me, I just didn’t know how to meet them. So, I created this peer support group that allows people to walk and talk together without fear or judgment and connect with each other. I am incredibly proud of the extraordinary community that it has become today and I only hope that we continue to grow, thrive and reach as many people needing this sort of help as possible”.

Bryony Gordon

Finding your ‘We’:

Around the time Bryony set up Mental Health Mates she listened to a podcast about the late American author Carson McCullers. In it McCullers talked about how:

‘Sometimes it feels like everyone is part of a we except for me’.

Bryony was struck by these words and how much they resonated with her. It was a meaningful reminder of why Mental Health Mates was so important – the importance of bringing people together to find their ‘we,’ instead of experiencing the loneliness and isolation that she had so often felt herself.