Jack Sargeant MS speaks out during Mental Health Awareness Week
Jack Sargeant MS the Member of the Senedd for Alyn and Deeside discussed his personal experiences at last week’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Conference.
Since being elected to the Senedd in 2018, Jack has been open about his own mental health, dealing with PTSD and depression following the loss of his Dad.
The local MS has made raising awareness and removing the stigma surrounding mental health a key priority in his work, whilst also campaigning for trauma informed public services.
During the Mental Health and Wellbeing Conference, Mr Sargeant led a seminar in which he discussed the difficulty in reaching those who struggle to talk about their emotions. Statistics show that men are less likely to access mental health services and make up 80% of those who take their own lives.
Speaking about reaching those who need help, Jack discussed support groups he has met with: “What I found was a network of ad hoc work of men supporting each other at tough times. I never say this without reserving my biggest shout out for Newport County Football Club.
“They create space for people to talk and they reach out and look out for each other. Some of the people concerned were experiencing significant problems and having people to speak to was a lifeline.”
This is a fantastic example of how community led support groups can reach people in ways more traditional mental health services cannot. Mr Sargeant has also worked with METALIDADS, a group of Dads connecting over a shared love of rock music to form a strong support network and friendship group.
Jack concluded the seminar by acknowledging far more work needs to be done in mental health services: “one of the things we have to be aware of is the broad range of change that is needed if we are to turn the tide of a growing pandemic of people struggling.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health the C.A.L.L Helpline is a dedicated mental health helpline for Wales, it can provide you with confidential listening and emotional support, and help you contact support that may be available in your local area. Call 0800 132 737 or text ‘help’ to 81066.
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