Mental Health Mates – a place to walk and talk without fear of judgement

Mental Health Mates – Reading is a peer support group organising walks and talks for those in our local area affected by mental illness, along with their families, children, friends and dogs (on leads). They meet twice a month for around an hour’s walk followed by a cuppa, at two or three venues in and around Reading.

For further details of upcoming walks and to ensure you are kept up to date please email There is also a list of upcoming dates below. To find out more about Mental Health Mates, you can visit the main website, join their Facebook group or follow their Facebook page.

How Mental Health Mates was formed, by founder Bryony Gordon

Back in January 2016, I was out running away my OCD, listening to a Jarvis Cocker documentary on poor old Carson McCullers, an author who wrote The Heart is a Lonely Hunter and I think ended up drinking herself to death. There was some archive audio of her where she said ‘everyone is part of a We except me’ and I thought ‘no! No you were wrong! You belonged to a We!’ And then I went home and decided to find the We.


I hadn’t been on Twitter for a while because it’s not a great place when you’re feeling toxic, but I ventured back and mooted the idea of starting up a sort of running/walking club, where people with mental health issues met up and got outdoors while sharing stuff with each other, even if it was just what they watched on the TV. I said we could call it #mentalhealthmates. To my amazement, almost 20 people turned up to the first one on a cold February morning. Now we are almost weekly, with new people coming every time.

Please note that Mental Health Mates is not intended to take the place of treatment and therapy. For advice, take a look a this guide to support and services on the Mind website.
Upcoming dates in Reading