An East Lancashire male peer support group, supported by Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust has been shortlisted for an award at one of the UK’s most anticipated diversity awards.
Men’s Den peer support group has been shortlisted for in the Community Organisation category at this year’s National Diversity Awards. The group was shortlisted in recognition of the emotional, social and practical support it provides to men in the local area, who are struggling with their mental health.
Men’s Den is supported by the East Lancashire Community Restart Team and offers a safe place for men to come along and talk to other people about what is going on in their life, and get help and support from likeminded people. The group runs every Wednesday evening from 6-9pm at the Open Door Centre in Colne. It aims to provide a comfortable environment for men of all ages, to share how they are feeling.
Nick Alderson, Rural Development Officer in the East Lancashire Community Restart Team at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust said:
“We are so proud to have been shortlisted and that the group has been nominated at such a prestigious national event.
“Men’s Den was born following the death of a good friend of mine who sadly took his own life. This was from nowhere; no indication ever suggested he had been feeling like this. I was angry at myself for a while, simply because I had worked in the mental health sector for nearly 10 years and presumed I would have noticed something like this, especially with one of my friends, but the truth is I didn’t.
“I’m lucky enough to live in the area that I work, and although that sometimes does have drawbacks it also has great benefits for me, such as being able to create community assets in my area. Although peer support is not a massive part of my role, my colleagues in the Service User Development Team create many fantastic peer support groups. I asked them about a specific support group for men - there wasn’t one. I looked a bit further afield from the Pendle area that my friend lived in and looked towards Accrington, Burnley, Clitheroe and Hyndburn and again there wasn’t one. I was convinced that had my friend known there was a place where he could go to talk to others about what was on his mind, he might still be here now.”
This was the inspiration for starting the group, and after a few weeks, Men’s Den was created. Since inception, the group been a huge success with numbers growing weekly and the support provided is extremely valued by all participants.
To view the full list of shortlisted nominees, please visit https://nationaldiversityawards.co.uk. The winners will be announced the prestigious black tie event at Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral on Friday 20 September 2019.