My name is Tom I came to work in the Tara Centre in Omagh in October 1998 as a psychotherapist. Previously I had been involved in Men’s Development and in helping to establish other Men’s Group in the Northwest from 1993. I had also valued the experience and challenge of being a member of a men’s group, discovering more about myself and my connection to other men. The Directors of Tara Maura and Mary knew of my experience working with men’s group and were enthusiastic and supportive to create a space in Tara for a Men’s Group. The need to create and have safe spaces for men to share with other men their role as men and the changing role of men in society are now much more recognized and valued. Men had been conditioned to not be attentive to their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing and very guarded towards sharing with other men. 

With the experience and awareness of needing to establish Core Conditions of safety, confidentiality, respect and a willingness to develop and form a Group. I began in September 1999 to offer a supportive environment for men from all walks of life. Throughout its existence men have engaged short term, or more long term to find a supportive place with other men to express what it is to be a man, issues that they may need support with. All the men I have been fortunate to have met in the Omagh Men’s Group have all added to and supported my life experiences of being a man, a father, a son, a brother, a husband and a friend. The need for Men’s Groups and for men to be supportive to themselves, their families, partners and friends is vital, men can still be too isolated within themselves.

I occasionally have the opportunity to work with the Omagh Men’s Group, and I feel very fortunate to get to know these men, and see the way there are supported by their facilitator Gerry. It is fairly unique that a Men’s Group has been able to sustain such an enduring supportive ethos, I wish the group continued success and to have the opportunity to thank with deep appreciation to of all people who made this all possible.

Warm Regards,