Shame. It's one of the most difficult topics to open up about, especially in front of strangers. And yet, it took center stage over and over again.

In more than a dozen community centers, makeshift spaces, and online meetups, men of all ages were coming clean, many for the first time — they spoke about being ashamed of their looks, their jobs, of being lonely, of feeling judged. That kind of vulnerability among men is difficult to achieve when the very notion of intimacy is a threat to their masculinity.

But that's exactly the point.

Men's support groups are popping up across the UK to get men to talk it out, offering them regular connection and community as they redefine what it means to be a man — together. This comes as mental health services are stretched dangerously thin by long-running cuts to funding and staff. Similar groups have been around for years but are increasing in popularity in the U.S., where free or low-cost healthcare services are limited to the elderly, people with disabilities, or poor (and there are plenty of exceptions). But they're not perfect.

HUMEN is one of the latest such groups to form in the UK. The mental health charity offers anonymous and non-clinical support meetings for men. The hour-long sessions are free and encourage groups of guys sitting in a circle to let their guard down and pour their hearts out. Its sessions, which are based on a different theme each week — adequacy, shame, fear, guilt — let members jump in freely.

Read the full article about toxic masculinity support groups by Nikolay Nikolov at Mashable.