Centre for men with mental health problems is a UK first

The UK’s first male mental health centre has opened, as the World Health Organization once again earmarks September 10 as World Suicide Prevention Day.

Suicide is the biggest killer of young men, and it is thought creating somewhere for men to come and discuss their issues will help tackle this.

The Eaton Foundation has been opened in Burton upon Trent in the Midlands by Alex Eaton, whose dad killed himself.

“We are the only one in the country and we are really proud of that,” he told BBC’s Newsbeat.

“I think it [male mental health] is a huge problem.

“It’s like society puts on you as a man that you have to be strong. You have to fight through your problems. You can’t be seen to be weak.

“When you have got mental health problems it’s not that easy. When you seem like you haven’t got anybody to talk to about it the problem obviously gets worse and worse. Negative things can come from it.

“My Dad suffered from mental health problems, depression and addiction. When he left my step-mum his life spun out of control. He turned to drugs and drink. He went on a binge and unfortunately took his life.

“It hit me really hard. I suffered with depression for about a year and I had to leave my previous employment.

“One night me and my wife were just sitting and chatting and I thought what about if we started our own operation in the town to help people.

“So we bashed some ideas around and then my wife jumped on the laptop and started making a website and from there it has just taken off.”

The charity has received a lot of funding, both local and national, including the lottery.

Stephen Buckley, from the mental health charity Mind, said: “We lose 6,000 people a year to suicide a year in the UK and every one is a tragedy.

“The number of men who take their own lives is of particular concern.

“Suicide is the biggest killer of men under the age of 45 and, overall, men account for three quarters of all suicides.

“Men talk less about their problems than women do, and instead might watch TV, play sport, or drink as a way of coping.”

Alex hopes his new clinic can be one of many across the country.

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