AN NHS trust and community organisation have formed a partnership to improve mental health services for men across Wirral.

Cheshire and Wirral Partnership (CWP) Trust's Mental Health Access Team will now refer clients to JourneyMEN's therapeutic services.

Based in Chester Street, Birkenhead, the organisation provides social interventions and peer-to-peer support to help people live their lives as independently as possible.

Its 'journey plan' involves counselling, training and help to prepare clients for work or become volunteers.

Todd Jones, team manager, CWP Access Services said: "We are delighted to be partnering with such a fantastic organisation like JourneyMen.

"By adopting this joined-up approach we will improve outcomes for Wirral men by being better enabled to help them access the best and most appropriate care available.

"During the current COVID-19 challenges, it is as important as ever for those who feel they need it to seek support."

Nationally, men’s mental health is a huge issue. According to the Mental Health Foundation’s latest figures, published in November 2020, three times as many men as women die of suicide. Men aged 40-49 also have the highest suicide rates in the UK.

Third sector support for men is also vitally important as, according to the Mental Health Foundation, men are less likely to access psychological therapies than women. Only 36% of referrals to NHS talking therapies are for men.

Joyce Pooley, JourneyMEN stakeholder manager, said: "This partnership will help enhance the efficiency of men accessing our services, and will enable us as a small, grassroots organisation to help a greater number of men who could do with our support, which is needed now more than ever."

CWP associate director for specialist mental health services, Jo Watts, said: "On behalf of CWP I am delighted to partner with JourneyMEN in Wirral.

"We strongly feel that JourneyMEN share our values when it comes to mental health provision.

"That care should be provided in a person-centred way with interventions designed with the person being cared for in mind.

"By jointly providing this bespoke care we will be able to improve outcomes for men in our local community."