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It takes 77 lives in Norfolk each year

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1:49pm 10th October 2017

A special event is being held in King's Lynn as part of World Mental Health Day.

Norfolk & Suffolk Foundation Trust will be raising awareness for men's mental health.

Its being held at Chatterton House from 5:30 tonight, its open to anyone battling with issues, carers and supporting staff.

The event, which takes place in King's Lynn, will also bring together a range of inspirational speakers with personal experience of mental ill health, including Luke Woodley, an army veteran and founder of The Walnut Tree Project who suffered with PTSD.

Gabriel Abotsie, Men's Wellbeing Nursing Lead with NSFT, and Andy Wood, from Men's Shed, will also give presentations.

The project's aim is to encourage men to talk more openly about their emotions, improve their access to mental health services and promote education and social inclusion.

It was introduced in response to national statistics which show males are three times more likely to take their lives than women, particular those in the 45 to 59 age group.

More locally, statistics from Public Health Norfolk show there are an average of 77 suicides each year, 76% of which are males with an average age of 49.

Gabriel Abotsie, Men's Wellbeing Nursing Lead with NSFT said:

"Many men can find it difficult to ask for psychological help, which is why we have been carrying out so much work to raise awareness of the importance of talking openly when you are facing difficulties. 

"This special event is part of that work, and is open to anyone who has had mental health difficulties, along with their carers, families and friends.

"We have invited a range of inspirational speakers to come along and talk about their own experiences, while a variety of different partner organisations will also be holding stalls showcasing the range of support they offer.

"We hope that as many people as possible will come along and get talking about mental health so that we can continue to reduce stigma while encouraging more men to develop strategies to help them cope during times of distress."

Steve Clark, chair of Moving Forward, NSFT's service user forum in West Norfolk, said:

"Moving Forward wanted to support World Mental Health Day and have a focus rather than just a presence.

It appeared valuable to highlight the Trust's research project into suicide rates for men.

Men are less likely to seek help during a mental health episode so the focus may encourage them to ask for help from the services."

The event takes place between 5.30pm and 7.30pm at Chatterton House in Goodwin's Road, King's Lynn. 

Click here for more information about NSFT's Men's Wellbeing Project.

To find out more about World Mental Health Day, click here

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