A SUPPORT group which aims to shatter the stigma around men’s mental health is going from strength to strength.

‘Mind Ya Marras’ based on the Mirehouse estate in Whitehaven provides a place for men to socialise, share stories and experiences and help one another through difficult times.

All men in the area are welcome to attend, whether they are experiencing issues such as social isolation, family and relationship problems, or financial worries.

The dedicated team of volunteers provide a listening ear and are there to help any man that might be suffering.

The group was set up in July and already has a group of regular members who attend on a weekly basis.

Emma Baughan, founder of the group, said: “The feedback from members has been fantastic and is really helping attendees so much already.

“The volunteers are the reason this support group has been a success so far.

“They give up their time on a weekly basis with no incentive other than to help others.

“They are fully committed to the decision making of the group and how it’s run. They have brought the idea to life and without them this group would not be happening.

“Initially the volunteers did not know each other well or in some cases at all.

“Through pure passion and like-mindedness they have become a support network for each other. They are a special group of individuals willing to put others first.”

Ms Baughan, who works in the construction industry, became a mental health first aider at work and said there was a need for a support group for men in the area.

She identified and approached people who she felt had the drive and passion to run the group. Since ‘Mind Ya Marras’ started, similar support groups have been set up in the area.

Ms Baughan said: “This is something the team are so pleased about. They truly believe that the more people out there talking and supporting one another then suicide rates will definitely reduce.”

There is a Facebook page for the group to share information and helpful links, along with a forum for members only, to provide support through the week until the next meeting.