Charity champions men’s mental health

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Debbie Rogers and her brother Sean Maloney on her wedding day. Pic © Debbie Rogers

Debbie Rogers and her brother Sean Maloney on her wedding day. Pic © Debbie Rogers

Men’s mental health has become more widely talked-about in recent years, but it still can be seen as a taboo subject.

The rates of male suicides increased significantly in 2019, with three out of four being men.

A Liverpool-based charity is supporting men’s mental health in an attempt to raise self-esteem and reduce social isolation.

Sean’s Place is a project set up to boost men’s confidence through free events and support groups.

The charity was created when its founder, Debbie Rogers’ brother Sean Maloney, took his own life last year. It was designed to offer men in Liverpool the support that was not available for him as he suffered with mental health issues.

Debbie told JMU Journalism: “The aim is to provide support to tackle issues that can lead to mental illness or are a symptom of mental illness to prevent more people getting to crisis point.

Sean’s Place gives men who are suffering with social anxiety, mental health issues or loneliness the chance to learn new skills in an environment where they can regain confidence in themselves.

YouTube: Reanna Smith

Debbie told JMU Journalism: “When we lost Sean, my world was thrown upside down. All my life I have supported my brother and cared for him and now there was a big hole that was about to pull me into a really dark place.

“I decided I had to do something positive with my grief to help others who were like Sean to prevent more people getting to that awful crisis point.

“Upon starting to plan how I was going to achieve this it became evident that Sean was not alone. There are so many other men in his position and now I can use my brother’s legacy and story to support them.”

Sean’s Place also offers support to families of the people who attend the workshops, which run on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays in Bootle. There are plans for it to become a full-time concern.

The charity has only been running for a mater of weeks but is already thriving.

Ms Rogers told JMU Journalism: “We are already seeing 30-plus people come to us each week, with the most popular night being Tuesday for guitar sessions and cookery with our chef, James.

“We have a range of age groups and people from all different backgrounds coming to us and already we are seeing friendships develop and confidence in skills they never thought they had blossoming.”

Twitter: Sean’s Place

About Katie Preece, JMU Journalism