A GROUP aiming to improve mental heath among men has launched in Northwich.

Directions for Men was founded by Chris Judge, and the sessions look to set a path for men who are struggling emotionally, feeling lost, anxious, depressed or just lonely.

The group launched in Warrington last year, and sessions are also available in locations including Bolton, Manchester and Wythenshawe.

And Chris, who has spent the last 15 years working in the criminal justice and drug and alcohol sectors, says that idea to create the groups came as he has always been struck by the number of men he saw struggling in his career.

“The vast majority of men who I came across had an underlying mental health issue or found it difficult to deal with problems effectively,” he said.

“I myself have suffered with my own mental health problems having been diagnosed with panic disorder 12 years ago.

“Luckily for me, I have a great support network and I have been able to learn how to manage my own condition effectively.

“I also decided to set up Directions for Men following my own experience of death by suicide in my family.”

In January 2019 Chris’ cousin John Paul tragically took his own life after battling with depression for a number of years.

“When you experience a suicide in the family, you try to understand why it happens,” he continued.

“After researching suicide, I was horrified by the statistics surrounding men, particularly that one man every two hours takes his own life, and that 75 per cent of all suicides are men.

“I was also struck by other issues men suffer, including the fact that 85 per cent of homeless people living on the streets are men, and that 95 per cent of the prison population are men.

“Our mission is to get men talking.”

Since starting the groups in Warrington and Greater Manchester, Directions for Men has helped more than 60 men.

The goal is to have a similar impact in Northwich and to encourage as many men as possible to come and visit.

Although group meetings are currently suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, help and advice from Directions for Men is still available.

If you are male and are struggling with your mental health, contact the team on Facebook or Twitter, phone 07894971434 or email hello@directionsformen.org.uk.