Grey Matters is a peer support virtual meeting for persons over 40 to speak openly about their mental health and explore the things in life impacting their wellbeing.
Every fourth Wednesday
Wednesday 7.30pm UK
Next meeting - 14th June
What is it?
Grey Matters is an open, honest and safe space for over 40s to talk. This is a peer support meeting that allows you to speak openly about your mental health and explore the things in life impacting your wellbeing. There are many reasons attendees come to Grey Matters. Some of these include, but are not limited to: Abandonment, abuse, addiction, alcohol, andropause (male menopause), anger, baby loss, being a carer, being a victim of a crime, breakdown of relationships, bullying, confidence, disability, discrimination, domestic violence, drugs, elder care, family breakup, gender identity, grief, hate crime, isolation, loneliness, mental ill health, money, partner loss, peri/menopause, physical ill health, poverty, racism, religious discrimination, self-worth, sexuality, sleep, stress, therapy, trauma, wellbeing and work related stress.
Why did it start?
Let’s be honest: the stigma associated with discussing anything remotely uncomfortable has been a part of most of our lives. We don’t talk about these things, we just get on with it! Grey Matters was founded to provide a space for over 40s to talk, without stigma or judgement, about the things that they feel they can’t discuss with their friends, family or colleagues. The New Normal is built around the statement, ‘If there’s one, there’s two.’ This meeting was created, and is hosted, by over 40s who realised that others may also find it difficult to attend and share in meetings with mostly younger attendees. And so, Grey Matters was born!
What to expect?
What to expect? Peer support, as a model, better equips us all to have better conversations. Talking about things with people you know can feel harder. It can be difficult to listen without any judgement when we know the person, whereas a room full of strangers can feel safe. We listen without judgement to those who speak. At the beginning of each meeting, we take it in turns to introduce ourselves and why we are attending. We also share our pronouns, if comfortable doing so, to create a safe space for all. From then on, there is no pressure at all to speak: you can just listen. Your hosts will then ask the group if anyone has anything they would like to bring into the space. You are welcome to share anything with the group, whatever you have to say is relevant. Our meetings are facilitated by host volunteers who have lived experience. They support the running of the meeting but are not trained professionals. They do not give advice: they hold space for you to share, connect and support. All attendees are expected to respect the privacy of the space and to treat others, and themselves, with kindness throughout.
Where is it?
Enquire about this meeting
Meet the hosts
Here's a selection of some of our wonderful meeting hosts. / Voici certaines des hôtes qui facilitent les rencontres.
Back in 2018 I was experiencing some mental ill health. Losing my dad when I was a teenager and not talking about it played a big part in how I was feeling. Joining the meetings was inspiring, hearing people talk so openly about something I had kept hidden inside for many years really did change my life. Fast forward four years and I now host Boys Talk and Grey Matters meetings. I’m passionate about making a difference in this space as I know what it is like to experience poor mental health and having a safe space to talk was a big part of my recovery. It’s an honour to provide this opportunity to others.
I began attending meetings in January 2022 after the loss of my father. I soon realised that I had found a space not only to talk about my grief but to talk about my journey with mental ill health and peri/menopause. The peer support I have received since January has been second to none. Being able to attend meetings remotely has allowed me to connect with people I wouldn’t have found in my day-to-day life. For these people I’m truly grateful for having them in my life. Becoming a host volunteer was a must for me. With more host volunteers TNN can continue to support their current offering, but also expand by bringing new groups together to experience peer support.