A NEW walking group which started a couple of weeks ago in Wells hopes to help men from across Somerset to manage their mental health.

The group is part of a larger movement called Men Walking and Talking, set up by Dan Reid in 2021, which aims to help men to open up about their mental health struggles.

Men Walking and Talking now have 17 groups spanning across five counties, with Wells being the most recent addition to that list.

The Wells walk and talk group was set up just over two weeks ago by Nathan, a law lecturer who moved to Somerset in August.

Nathan decided to start the Wells group due to previously struggling with addiction issues and depression.

He also pitches the walk as a social opportunity - a great way of meeting new people whilst also getting some exercise in.

Nathan explained how a simple walk can help many men to open up, even if they find it tough to speak about their feelings.

"Being out, being with people – gearing it as a social thing allows people to feel more relaxed and able to open up and discuss," he said.

"We all recognise and we all know that men sometimes get stuck in our own echo chambers."

The group meets outside St Cuthbert's Church every Monday at 7pm, for a scenic stroll around Wells, past the Bishop's Palace and along the moat.

Absolutely anyone is welcome to join in on the weekly walk by turning up on the day, or by contacting Nathan in advance.

"Health issues don’t just affect the body, they affect the mind and destroy people’s confidence," Nathan affirmed.

As well as the much needed outlet for the men who join in with the walks, Nathan has set up a Whatsapp group chat for those involved, creating a constant network of supportive locals for those who need it.

"Outside of the walking, people have been commenting about the troubles that they’re going through or any issues they’re having," he explained.

Although next week's walk will only be the group's third so far, Nathan believes the weekly meets are already having a positive impact on those who attend, and the numbers are only growing.