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Men encouraged to talk about their mental health problems

PUBLISHED: 16:12 17 May 2018 | UPDATED: 17:17 17 May 2018

At the men's wellbeing session in Cromer, from left, Steve Morris, Cedric Anselin, Gabe Abotsie.  Picture: COURTESY OF RICHARD BATSON

At the men's wellbeing session in Cromer, from left, Steve Morris, Cedric Anselin, Gabe Abotsie. Picture: COURTESY OF RICHARD BATSON

Archant

A plea for men living with mental health issues to ‘talk and open your heart’ was made at a new drop-in session held in north Norfolk.

Cedric Anselin after beating Wellbeing worker Esme Henstra at table tennis. Picture:  COURTESY OF RICHARD BATSONCedric Anselin after beating Wellbeing worker Esme Henstra at table tennis. Picture: COURTESY OF RICHARD BATSON

The event at Cromer showcased a range of places men can turn to if they are living with stress, anxiety or depression - from support and advice groups to singing and gardening sessions.

The appeal was delivered by Cedric Anselin, former Norwich City football player now a mental health ambassador. He told the gathering at Cromer Parish Hall his poignant personal story of going from UEFA Cup player to club rejection, feeling unwanted, lonely and being on the brink of suicide through to his ongoing recovery.

He added: “Men all think they are Superman but we need to talk, open our hearts, surround ourselves with positive people we trust and learn how to handle the bad days.”

The event - held during Mental Health Awareness week - hosted 16 stalls, all offering help and hope. Among them were the Wellbeing Service and new Men’s Sheds at Cromer, Sheringham, Fakenham and North Walsham which combine craft activities with a chance to talk.

Steve Morris with allotment produce.  Picture: COURTESY OF RICHARD BATSONSteve Morris with allotment produce. Picture: COURTESY OF RICHARD BATSON

Norfolk Men’s Wellbeing project lead Gabriel Abotsie added: “Men are three times as likely as women to commit suicide and less likely to seek help because they feel they have to be providers and protectors and cannot be seen to be weak. Our campaign aims to encourage men to seek support.”

The afternoon was organised, with the support of volunteers by the Wellbeing Service, by local associate co-ordinator Emilie Ruddick who said: “I am really pleased with our new event and we were able to refer some visitors to people who can offer them help.”

Mental health help in north Norfolk includes:

- a Wellbeing helpline 0300 123 1503 (Mon-Fri 8am-8pm)

Mark Webster from The Conservation Volunteers with finds during restoration work at Honing Station.  Picture: COURTESY OF RICHARD BATSONMark Webster from The Conservation Volunteers with finds during restoration work at Honing Station. Picture: COURTESY OF RICHARD BATSON

- the Samaritans free phone 116 113 anytime

- OCD Action (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) 0303 040 1112

-Sing Your Heart Out, Sheringham Lighthouse Church, Monday’s 1-3pm. www.syho.org,

-Men’s sheds: Sheringham - sheringhamshed@btintenet.com, North Walsham - fay.sheldon@norfolk.gov.uk, Fakenham - stephen.hurley@norfolk.gov.uk, Cromer - Simon Fenn 01263 512000.

Any men, families and friends who could not attend the event but are seeking help should contact their GP or the Wellbeing service via www.wellbeingnands.co.uk

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