David Keane has lent his support to a local campaign which encourages men with mental health issues to seek support.
Warrington’s In Your Corner campaign is currently being hosted at Stockton Heath Police Station, where the commissioner is based, until Friday 25 May.
The initiative, developed by Time To Change, uses the theme of boxing to highlight men’s mental health and encourages their friends to act as ‘corner men’ supporting them to cope with mental health problems.
The police station is hosting a ‘red stool’ to signify the type of stool used in a boxing ring. There will also be accompanying leaflets providing relevant advice and support and signposting to Warrington Borough Council’s mental health support services.
Research shows that men are far less likely to report their own experiences of mental health and seek help from a professional than women. They are also three times more likely to take their own lives, with suicide being the leading cause of death in men under 45.
David Keane said: “I am pleased to lend my support to a campaign which not only encourages those struggling with their mental health to seek support, but also calls on all of us to listen to our friends and family members without judgement.
“One in four of us will fight mental health problems this year, yet there is still a huge amount of stigma attached to the issue. This leads many local people, particularly men, to suffer in silence.
“Warrington and Halton actually exhibit some of the highest rates of suicide among young men in the whole of Cheshire and Merseyside. That’s why it’s vital that we act now to provide more support and prevent suicide.”
The commissioner’s hosting of the campaign coincides with Mental Health Awareness Week which, this year, focuses on stress, a key factor which leads to mental health issues.
“Stress - whether it’s in the work place, at school or college, or even at home - can affect us all in our daily lives. For some, it can lead to serious mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.
“Police officers are often the first to respond to calls for help from those suffering with mental health issues. That's why it’s important that they have the latest training to provide support to people who may be in these types of vulnerable situations,” added David.