We're working with a Trainee Counselling Psychologist called Leila Wildsmith (isn't that a great surname!). She's based at Regent’s University in London, and she's currently conducting doctoral research related to the ways in which men talk about mental health issues in support groups.
Her research seeks to better understand the growing popularity in men’s support groups, like our SpeakEasy groups (but not exclusively), as men are less likely to seek individual help (e.g. face-to-face counselling) in times of difficulty and, as you are no doubt aware, suicide remains the biggest killer of men under 45 in the United Kingdom.
Consequently, it seems important for Counselling Psychology, as a profession, to better understand the appeal of these groups (in contrast to individual counselling) and, specifically, to understand what makes it feel okay for men to talk about difficult issues within these groups.
She's hoping to conduct one or two focus groups, with 3 – 6 men in each, who are already members of the same SpeakEasy group. The focus group would last about an hour (although this could be up to one and a half hours), and she will endeavour to find a time for the focus group that is convenient for the majority of participants.
She is also hoping to hold the focus group at the SpeakEasy's normal location (where appropriate), so it is familiar and convenient for you. No concrete plans for this yet.
The discussion will cover a range of topics related to men’s experiences of the support group, mental health issues and thoughts about help-seeking behaviour. It is likely she will ask some open-ended questions to get the conversations started, but I will try not to guide the discussion too much, as I am interested in what you all have to say.
Participants will be offered a £10 Amazon voucher in exchange for participation and she will cover travel expenses in getting to the group, up to a cost of £10.
We will bring the participant information sheet and consent forms for this study to the upcoming groups, and, if you're interested in participating, remind me to fill one in (assuming I remember to bring them at all!). Note to self - bring forms.
If you are interested, Leila would be very grateful if you could contact her on this email address (S00908033@regents.ac.uk), to begin the process of organising the focus groups.
Please note that this research has been approved by Regent’s University Ethics Panel and the progress of the project will be continuously monitored by her research supervisors; Director of Studies, Dr Anna Butcher (firstname.lastname@example.org) and her Research Supervisor Dr Andreas Vassiliou (email@example.com)
Thank you in advance for your help. Again, if you go to another group, that's ok. Your opinion is still valid as this research isn't specifically about the SpeakEasy groups.