This week, I attended my second Andy’s Man Club session, right on my doorstep in Huddersfield. Following on from my experience in Hartlepool the week before, I have been quite literally chomping at the bit to attend another meeting and last night’s session did not disappoint.
As always, a variety of topics and emotions were up for discussion and once again, it was heartwarming to see the interest that attendees had in each other’s lives and also how much of an integral role AMC plays in the lives of some of its members. One discussion in particular stuck with me after the session and this was an event that took place last week surrounding one of our long-term attendees. This particular attendee has made a great deal of progress across his weeks attending the session, with one facilitator even remarking on how he now always answers Question One (How has your week been?) in a positive manner. Once again, this man said he had a good week leading up to the session with what he described as a blip along the way. With his permission, we have been able to share part of his story.
This “blip” was a panic attack brought on by something that is a scourge of most people in their day-to-day lives, a scam call. This particular caller had identified the fact that our attendee was in the process of switching suppliers, and had tried and almost succeeded in taking our attendee’s money. Scam calls like this are ever-growing in complexity and are becoming more and more commonplace, but this particular situation made me consider the detrimental effect calls like this can have on the recipient, especially if they are in a vulnerable position.
According to MoneySavingExpert.com, Mental Health sufferers are more than three times more likely to fall victim to online and telephone-based scams. In addition, it is estimated that almost two thirds of victims of these scams suffer from Mental Health issues. Luckily, our attendee had a strong family support network around him who were able to identify the scam and also support him when he suffered with his mental health as a direct result of this. Not everyone has this support, and the fact that these calls are allowed to happen and are relatively commonplace perfectly embodies why there needs to be a greater focus on Mental Health in society as a whole. Before last night, I made no connection between these types of calls and the way that they can potentially make recipients feel.
With Huddersfield being this week’s Club of the Week, a plethora of content will be going out this week shining a spotlight on this club. This includes an interview with some of the Huddersfield club facilitators via Facebook on Wednesday, also some of the stories of our attendees and facilitators in the area will be posted on the website and our social profiles throughout the week.
Thank you to the attendees and facilitators for having me last night and showing me, once again, #ItsOkayToTalk.