The first Cleckheaton mental health group for men has launched to tackle the stigma around suicide.
Piers Briggs, from Cleckheaton, is the brains behind the new group Let’s Talk, which meet on Mondays at the Station Tavern pub, in Railway Street.
Piers Briggs, Let's Talk organiser
The group is made up of five volunteers all with first-aid training, and also provides trained psychiatrists on standby for those in desperate need.
Mr Briggs (circled) said: “There wasn’t a group for men to meet up and talk about their mental health within the area.
“Our group is aimed at bringing people in from Cleckheaton, Heckmondwike, Batley, Birstall, as well as further afield.
“It’s no secret, men don’t talk about their feelings enough, they keep it bottled up because society dictates men must have a stiff-upper-lip attitude.
“Men seem embarrassed to ask for help, so it’s up to us to change attitudes and let people know ‘it’s OK not to be OK’.
“There’s so much pressure to be successful nowadays.
“If a man doesn’t have a nice car, own his home, and is happily married, they’re considered a failure - this is far from the truth.”
Mr Briggs said once the men’s group is established, he aims to start up a group for women’s mental health, and a group which targets the younger generation.
“It’s important to get to the youth now and teach children about the pressures of the modern world.
“Life can be hard and repetitive, and there are disappointments along the way, but it’s about how you you deal with that as an individual.”
The Monday meet-ups at the Station Tavern have now launched, which start at 7.30pm onwards.
“My message to men who are struggling with their mental health around the Cleckheaton area is: come down and have a coffee. There’s no pressure to speak and there will never be any judgement,” said Mr Briggs.
“We do more than just listen, we point people in the right direction for further help.”
For urgent help, suicide prevention charity Samaritans can be contacted free on: 116 123.