For some men, opening up about their emotions can feel like a step too far.
Dundee fan Richie Peter-Tennant and his Walk and Blether group hope to change that as they put their best foot forward for mental health.
Next Saturday, Richie and a small group of friends will walk from Raith Rovers’ Stark’s Park to Dens Park, the home of the Dark Blues, ahead of the sides’ Championship meeting.
He will be joined by fellow-Dees Valerie Lindsay and Chez Lesley, who completed a walk of their own in August from the Forth Road to the Tay Road Bridge, raising over £500 for Andy’s Man Club.
It will be no mean feat but Richie insists every step will be worth it if they can save just one life.
“We’re setting off in the very early hours of the morning,” the 50-year-old said.
“We’re getting a lift there but, obviously, have to adhere to social distancing which makes things tougher.
“There won’t be many of us but the female Dundee fans who did 50-odd miles last month from the Forth Road to the Tay Road Bridge for men’s mental health will be there, too.
“It’s a very informal group we’ve set up. Anyone can come along but with the guidelines at the moment it’s very strict.
“In Scotland, there’s about two suicides a day and, with Covid-19, it doesn’t help matters.
“If we can help just one person from taking their own life then it’s been worthwhile.
“My motto has always been to help people to help themselves.”
Although Richie is grateful for the support of the club, he feels more needs to be done in Scottish football and society to tackle issues such as anxiety and depression.
He added: “Within football and this country we need more education on mental health, definitely.
“For years people had been told to ‘man up’ or ‘grow a pair’ but we hope that’s changing.
“You see footballers now coming to the fore to say they’ve had issues and I think we need more honest guys to come forward and say ‘I’ve been struggling, too’.
“Guys like Leigh Griffiths and Garry O’Connor are good but there is more out there. It can be powerful to show the fans it’s normal to talk about your feelings and problems.”
And Richie, a Crystal Palace fan originally from Croydon, believes groups – like the one he set up with Balgay Hill Bar owner Paul Murphy – can be a powerful tool.
He continued: “That’s what football is all about – talking to people, even rival fans, and having the banter. It can bring people together.
“On the walks we’ve done, they’ve not been very far, from Dens to the Rosie and back, there’s been people laughing but also people talking about their mental health.
“It’s been good to see the spectrum of people and different issues. People will have been struggling because of lockdown and not being able to go to places they want to.
“It’s for men’s mental health but we’re open to women, children, you name it – come along you’ll be made more than welcome.
“I got the idea from social media. One or two people I know from down south had done quite a few in London like Palace to Fulham, Arsenal to Palace that sort of thing.
“I joined a Palace supporters Dundee Facebook page and was invited to go to the pub and met Paul through there – I’m not going to turn down an invite to the pub!
“It just went from there. August last year we started talking about it and he said ‘look, I’ve had issues with mental health myself’ and it just went from there.”
Richie, whose wife is from Dundee, has first-hand experience of being welcomed in by a group of supporters after moving to the area from Edinburgh just five years ago.
Although he’s not entirely switched his allegiances from Hibs to Dundee, he believes previous walks prove football tribalism is always parked for such events.
You see footballers now coming to the fore to say they’ve had issues and I think we need more honest guys to come forward and say ‘I’ve been struggling, too.'”
This will be the group’s third walk after two successful treks last season for the November Dundee Derby in 2019 and the Dark Blues’ meeting with Arbroath in February.
He commented: “I only started supporting Dundee because of the testimonial for Julian Speroni.
“My Scottish team is Hibs because I lived near the area and worked near the training ground but I’ve got a soft spot for Dundee now.
“Paul and I bonded over that. We did our first Walk and Blether event back in November for the Dundee derby.
“It was the first time that has been done in Scotland for men’s mental health. We had Rangers fans holding Celtic scarves and vice-versa and this one isn’t just for Dundee and Raith Rovers fans.
“On the last walk we did in February, just before the lockdown, it was Dundee v Arbroath and we had United fans on that. It’s for anyone.”
You can donate to the walk via JustGiving.