Depression can affect a large majority of individuals during difficult stages in life. Occasionally the way individuals acknowledge, react and possibly pursue support can vary between men and women.
A feature in the management of depression is developing personal and sociable networks
Individuals with clinical depression are more inclined to retract themselves from friends and family. They may become “self-focussed”. Explaining to loved ones about clinical depression by a therapist can help in drawing the person back. Friends and family have more of an understanding, knowledge and compassion with regards to the condition and will provide support and assistance.
Seeing the individual working at improving can encourage engagement with the depressed person again.
Support groups can have powerful and beneficial effects, When individuals living with depression learn and discover that they are not alone, it can have positive impacts. Establishing and regaining connection with other people is important in combating social isolation. Talking and engaging in activities with others can help to achieve this. A man who is part of a regular men’s support 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.
Value of Common Ground.
1. Experienced and trained facilitators.
2. A safe and confidential space where the guidelines will be followed.
3. Regular commitment of participants and facilitators over 9 weeks.
4. Interacting with other men without advice, judgement or competition
5. Being heard, listened to by other men
6. Allows for deep sharing or passing and everything between.
7. The hope is that the group will continue…..
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.