Mentell will support all men's groups no matter what stage of development the group is at; however, before Mentell can actively pass on referrals, your men's group will have at least six months of a track record.
Through affiliating with Mentell you will gain access (if needed) to free facilitator training, weekly supervision, shared knowledgebase and mentorship.
Ideally, your affiliate circle is located in a neutral venue (aka not a pub or church) with free parking and a private room free from interruption for the meeting duration.
Having clear signage is a bonus but not essential; the most challenging part for any new member is walking through the door. A meeting room that is visible from the entrance dramatically reduces the anxiety and nerves of first time members.
Your affiliate circle will have a consistent frequency, weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. Anything other than weekly will have dates listed in advance.
Your affiliate circle will have a clear start and end time. 80% of all men living in the UK are in employment. Ideally, your circle opens in the evening, allowing plenty of time for members to arrive after work hours.
At the minimum, Affiliate circles will offer each man 10 minutes to share, so a 2-hour peer to peer support group would allow for 12 men. From experience, not all members will take up the allocated time, and others might need a little more, but as a rule of thumb, the 10 minute per man rule ensures adequate space.
On the flip side, Mentell does not recognise a circle without the minimum number of 3 men in attendance.
Offering a simple hot drink can make a difference when helping members settle and feel welcome. At Mentell, the circle saves this for the halfway point, but you might do this from the moment the man walks through the door.
Your affiliate circle must align with and implement the "7 Principles", which you can learn more about by clicking here. These are the glue and are at the core of every circle that Mentell runs.
Your Affiliate circle will have a focus point to direct the members when sharing; most men's groups use a 'ball' or 'talking stick'; use whatever works best. As long as it's clear that whoever is holding it, is the one that should be talking.
Your affiliate circle will have a minimum of 2 facilitators running the group; having a minimum number reduces the risk of safeguarding concerns and becoming a 1:1 service (in the event only one man turns up).
Mentell uses a script that the facilitators learn and repeat every circle to ensure every member is fully aware of what he is partaking in without any shadow of a doubt.
This ensures that expectations are clear for all members, and that there is a container for them to have a positive experience.
Affiliate circles register members on arrival for two reasons. 1. Health & Safety - In the event of a fire. 2. Safeguarding - without knowing who is in your circle, how can you report a safeguarding concern?
Alliliate circles understand safeguarding vulnerable adults, have a person responsible for safeguarding and operate a clear policy on how to escalate concerns.
All affiliates will operate a zero-tolerance approach on any form of restrictions placed on men (18+) looking to enter the space, including (but not limited to) equal access to all disabilities, age groups, economic backgrounds etc.
Mentell will need a single point of contact to pass over referrals from the charity. Therefore, affiliate circles must have a named and contactable person via email or phone to handle the membership referrals.
If you would like to sign up for Mentell's affiliate program, please follow the link below and fill in the form.