New sup­port group there for men in need

Wishaw Press - - FRONT PAGE - Niki Ten­nant

A Wishaw refuge for peo­ple in dis­tress is launch­ing a new sup­port group specif­i­cally for men strug­gling with men­tal ill health.

Chris’s House in Bel­haven Road, Wishaw, is launch­ing the men’s sup­port group in re­sponse to the in­creas­ing rate of young men in La­nark­shire aged un­der 25 who are tak­ing their own lives.

“Men­tal ill­ness has no bound­aries, it is not gen­der or race spe­cific, it does not care if you are rich, poor, black, white, fat or thin, above or be­low av­er­age in­tel­li­gence and height,” said Chris’s House cog­ni­tive be­havioural ther­a­pist, Kim Arm­strong.

“It does not care who or what you are and it can and does af­fect peo­ple from ev­ery so­cial and eco­nomic so­ci­ety on ev­ery con­ti­nent, it pays no heed to bor­ders and bound­aries. Per­haps the most in­ter­est­ing and wor­ry­ing find­ing is that while, on av­er­age, more women are di­ag­nosed with com­mon men­tal health prob­lems than men, the rate of male sui­cide is sig­nif­i­cantly higher.

“This sug­gests that men are suf­fer­ing with men­tal dis­tress, but may not be re­ceiv­ing or in­deed ask­ing for the help they need.”

Kim says that among many men there is still the feel­ing of not talk­ing about their is­sues.

Their per­cep­tion is that “only weak peo­ple get de­pressed” and they make com­ments such as “what is anx­i­ety? – it’s just made up,” “I don’t show my emo­tions” and “real men don’t cry”.

She ex­plained: “At Chris’s House, we see first-hand what liv­ing with men­tal dis­tress does and we are work­ing tire­lessly to fight the stigma, which stops men in par­tic­u­lar com­ing for­ward for help sooner. Chris’s House is here to of­fer you a safe and non-judge­men­tal space to meet and chat about the strug­gles you are fac­ing.”

The new men’s sup­port group, start­ing soon, will be fa­cil­i­tated by a qual­i­fied coun­sel­lor and will in­clude guest speak­ers who have come through their own men­tal health crises. For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion, call 01236 766755 or email info@chris­shouse.org

There to help Anne Rowan, founder of Chris’s House, with Kim Arm­strong, in­set

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