Lee’s hoping to help others towards good mental health

A BELLANALECK man who has set up a mental health group says he has been overwhelmed by the response to it.

Lee Ormen, 38, who works as a production operator, set up the Fermanagh Men’s Social Group earlier this month to help men in the county help themselves and each other towards good mental health.

A similar group helped Lee through his depression when he was working in Liverpool and, with the first meet-up, the Blackslee Waterfall walk, pencilled in for May 28 at 11am, Ormen insists that connecting and engaging with others can help men struggling with their mental health turn a corner.


He said: “I have had issues of my own regarding mental health – not at extreme levels but just being aware of myself and working on myself with self-care. Whether it be going to the gym or reading books or listening to podcasts.

“Whenever I was in England (Liverpool), I went through a bout of depression through loneliness. I was just unhappy having moved to a city that was totally different to life in Fermanagh.

“I was met then by a community of wonderful people from all over the world such as north Africa, Malaysia, South America and, of course, England itself. They took me in, embraced me and invited me to their events.

“That really turned a corner for me. I really enjoyed my time and my experience in England turned out to be a great one after all.

“All it took was a group of people who cared – I felt like they cared for me. That’s what I want to do here as well.”

Recent figures from the NISRA show that one in three deaths by suicide have been adults aged under 30. Around 75 per cent of those are men with old macho attitudes such as ‘stiff upper lip’ and ‘big boys don’t cry’ proving to be more a hindrance than ‘character building’.

Lee added: “It’s a generational thing to be macho and if you have any problems, you’re meant to keep them to yourself – which I think is totally wrong.


“The more outspoken you are – not to the point where you’re leaving yourself totally exposed – and engaging you are towards people, that gives a window for others to engage back with you. You’re then helping each other.

“I’ve been seeing a counsellor these last six months and it’s had a massive positive impact on me. It’s given me the confidence to set the group up.

“Since I’ve set this group up, I’ve had people reach out to me by social media or phone. You can literally hear the relief from them that they’re getting this off their chest.

“The feedback overall since setting the page up has been overwhelming. I started this group thinking that maybe I might get a dozen joining up. I’ve not had one negative word – it’s just been mind-blowing.”

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