By Zara Byng, Second Year Law
As the summer term comes around, so does the launch night of the new, student founded charity, The Grieving Pint. Alex and Ben, two second year students, created the charity with the slogan “Great Beer, Better Conversation” in the hope of bringing men together over a pint to discuss their mental health and wellbeing.
Epigram spoke to the founders about the organisation’s origins and aims. Ben highlighted the stigma that exists surrounding the conversation about men’s mental health. Having experienced loss, he admitted that seeking help was a difficult step to take, not helped by the bureaucratic process of finding someone to speak to.
Alex agreed, explaining that ‘Putting a stack of paper in front of someone desperate for help is a major deterrent.’ The Grieving Pint aims to simplify the process by inviting men under the age of twenty-five to come together over a pint, in a space where they can talk openly and overcome the internal battle that comes with expressing emotion as a man. Alex explained that when he was struggling the most, the more people he met, and the more he put himself out there, the better he started to feel. While the charity has been created by university students, it is open to all men, students or not.
The founders described a pint as a ‘vehicle for conversation’. Whether it gives you some Dutch courage to speak out, allows you to quietly exit a conversation by going to the bar or provides an opportunity to spend time with new people, The Grieving Pint events are a space where men can turn up and voice their experiences or concerns.
Posed as a ‘male oriented mental health charity’, their aim is to take the pressure off speaking to a professional, and instead open the floor to those who want to take the first step in breaking down the stigma that still exists around men’s mental health.
Launching on Tuesday the 18th of April, the first event will take place in collaboration with the Left-Handed Giant, a community funded pub carefully chosen by Alex and Ben for it’s friendly nature. Both founders explained that the evening will be relaxed and welcoming, embracing people from all walks of life to chat over one of the pub’s craft beers or even just a lemonade.
Meetings will take place on a bi-weekly basis, promoting a safe space to talk. On the launching night, the founders will recount their personal experiences and provide a general explanation of their aims, followed by the introduction of some prompts to help people to open up about themselves.
These conversation starters will be provided at every session to allow people to track personal progress in response to them and keep an eye on others too. The founders emphasised that there is no expectation to attend regularly, but encourage people to spread the word and inspire others to make an appearance.
With plans to expand, The Grieving Pint wants to invite guest speakers to their sessions, to discuss their personal experiences and men’s mental health more broadly.
Plans are also in motion to host a variety of events towards summer, including cricket matches and barbecues, which will be open to everyone.
With the launch of The Grieving Pint comes a crucial reminder to check up on your friends and perhaps invite them along to the first inaugural event. As Alex and Ben say, ‘it’s not therapy, it’s just a beer.’
Featured image: The Grieving Pint
Will you be attending The Grieving Pint's event on the 18th of April?