MenSpeak Men’s Group founder Kenny Mammarella-D’Cruz (known as The Man Whisperer) will facilitate the next Neurodiverse MenSpeak Men’s Group meeting on 15th September 2022, live online.
The monthly men’s group has revealed the vital importance of creating a space for the voices of neurodiverse men, including those with ADHD, autism, OCD and dyslexia, to be heard in their own space.
Kenny has been holding men’s groups for 20 years, and the neurodiverse group is an important addition to the men’s group community he has created.
The monthly groups are open to all men, whether clinically diagnosed, self-diagnosed or curious about the possibility they may be neurodiverse.
After identifying as neurodiverse, men can struggle with overthinking and concentration; the group targeted a need by creating a group that allows these men to feel connected, understood and part of a community.
Patrick Hayes has been attending daily men’s groups since the start of lockdown when Kenny launched daily online sessions to keep men safe, sane and connected.
Patrick was diagnosed with ADHD at age 56 after being inspired by the story of another group attendee. He is now an accredited MenSpeak Men’s Group facilitator and co-facilitates the neurodiverse meeting with Kenny.
‘I discovered MenSpeak in lockdown as a father of three in crisis,’ reflected Patrick. ‘I was fortunate to meet someone through the groups who shared his recent Adult ADHD diagnosis. The penny dropped after years of disorganisation and distraction.’
‘Six months later, I’m now professionally diagnosed and wonderfully connected with a community of neurodiverse men in the MenSpeak community where we discuss life hacks and share personal experiences.’
Neurodiverse MenSpeak gives a voice to any man who navigates their daily life affected by their neuro-programming. Men are given space to share how they are and cope with their condition in a confidential and safe space, free from hierarchies and clinicians.
‘The lack of connected thinking and problems with processing emotional cues that neurodiverse men often experience leads to panic,’ explained Kenny. He founded MenSpeak 20 years ago while in the throes of his mental health crisis, which included OCD and body dysmorphic disorder.
‘Across a lifetime, this can grow into loneliness, isolation and, in extreme situations, suicidal ideation. It can devastate the quality of life and how men view their position in the world.’
The connection with men with similar mental wiring that neurodiverse MenSpeak offers, and the insights gained into how others manage their neurodiversity, have enabled attendees to develop a new blueprint for life and contribute positively to society.
MenSpeak has the distinction of contributing to the world’s first male psychology degree module at Sunderland University’s School of Psychology.
Senior lecturer Dr Rebecca Owens commented: ‘The aim is to raise awareness of male psychology and emphasise the importance of understanding differences. Kenny and his facilitators allow students to experience a men’s group online session, and it’s invaluable through its experiential approach.’
‘Students can understand the impact of peer-to-peer groups and their importance in early intervention strategies.’
Kenny’s long-term goal is to enable men’s groups to be as available as 12-step treatment programmes and reduce their need in future.
Men can wait up to 18 weeks for mental health treatment on the NHS and will normally be offered a limited number of cognitive behavioural therapy sessions.
The immediate availability of men’s groups means they can be the solution to waiting for overstretched services, and early intervention can make significant savings to the NHS.
Unlike other MenSpeak Men’s Groups, the neurodiverse men’s group includes as many breaks and as much movement as necessary, with the option to turn cameras off when moving so as not to distract other men.
MenSpeak Men’s Group CIC (Community Interest Company) is a non-profit organisation. It supports World Suicide Prevention Day on 10th September, which closely connects with MenSpeak’s early intervention ethos.
Kenny Mammarella-D’Cruz has been facilitating men’s groups for over 20 years. He is the author of the Amazon no. 1 bestselling e-book Online Men’s Groups Success: A Step-by-Step Guide to Facilitating Personal Development Groups for Men.
Kenny has worked with Mother Theresa, whose sacrifices in the face of relentless work and exhaustion inspired Kenny to start his journey of public service. He has 25 years of experience in facilitation and provides CPD-accredited training to professionals, therapists, and coaches.