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It’s good to talk

It’s good to talk

John Gettins A Highercroft tenant is leading the fight to help men deal with mental health issues.

John Gettins has been holding weekly meetings with a group of men who are experiencing difficulty in their lives.

And John is a man who knows what he’s talking about.

Around 12 years ago, John himself went through some dark times following a relationship break-up.

He said: “I became ill and ended up in hospital. And although I had a fantastic support team, it was a very tough time.

“I felt down, I isolated myself, except when I had my children and that’s when I discovered the lack of support there was for men in my position.”

So John took it up on himself to get involved with the Lancashire MIND support group, led by Paul Smalley, and train to become a volunteer.

Paul is regularly getting a sizeable group attend his Wednesday night sessions and says his door is always open for people who need help.

“It’s still a huge stigma for men to open up and talk,” he added. “But we’ve had some fantastic feedback from the people who have attended, so much so that they are looking into volunteering themselves.

“It’s very brave for some people to come in and talk about their feelings, but I know they get a lot out of it.

“We can listen, talk and signpost them if they need help with other aspects of their lives. It’s very relaxed and it’s been very successful so far.”

The sessions run every Wednesday night from 6-8pm at the Highercroft base at 116a Manxman Road, Blackburn, BB2 3EP and everyone is welcome.

Alternatively, contact Paul Smalley on 07964 083340 or email


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Related to: Blackburn, Lancashire.