WALLA WALLA, WA - Our mental health can take a toll during the holidays, and it can be especially hard for men to ask for help. A local group called 'Men in the Middle' gets the conversation started without shame or judgment. 

"Guys especially, we tend to internalize things and not talk about it, but when we do, there's safety and comfort in that," said a founder of the group, Greg Kettner. 

The group of 30 men connects with financial or relationship hardships, but more importantly with laughter, said Kettner. He said when we laugh with somebody; we build a connection with them.

"When we're connected, our hearts are open, and when our hearts are open, then we can have these kinds of conversations," said Kettner.

He said those mental health conversations can be hard, but it's worth putting yourself out there.

"If you sat down and had a conversation with him, you might be going through the same struggle," said Kettner.

Through Men in the Middle, Kettner said he's able to encourage his friends to seek extra help that worked for him, like seeing a therapist.

"Just show support and love, and let them know it's okay that you're going through this, and you can get help for it," said Kettner. 

Kettner said guys tend to distance themselves from friends to only reach out via text months later.

"If you get a text like that, call the person up, go see them if it's safe with COVID, but just be there to listen," said Kettner.

Kettner doubles as a comedian and has a Facebook group called The Humor Lab. He said he just wants to make people laugh when they need it most.

Text HEAL to 741-741 for anonymous help and guidance.

Kettner said he wants more men in the area to join Men in the Middle. Contact him at greg@gregkettner.com or call 509-730-3888.

He also has podcasts called WorkHappy to help men's mental health in the workplace.