New lifeline offered to local ex-military in Wigan

A campaign which uses sport to start a conversation about mental health, is reaching out to the borough's military veterans.

Wednesday, 19th September 2018, 1:22 pm
Updated Wednesday, 19th September 2018, 10:52 pm
Veterans' mental health is being placed under a closer focus

Place 2 Place is urging ex-service personnel to take part in informal meet-ups, where they can engage with other veterans who understand their predicaments.

Peter Hill, who founded Place 2 Place, said: “The idea is just an informal coffee meet, just to chat with other like minded people. We will have some leaflets signposting anyone to local help if there’s a need.

“Whether that’s mental health, financial help, or jobs, the idea is just hopefully to get people together in similar circumstances and maybe out of that someone can be helped.”

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The project began as a cycle challenge from Wigan to Paris, aimed at raising awareness of the prevalence of male suicide, and quickly evolved into a five-a-side football team which uses the football pitch as a friendly environment to promote a positive attitude towards mental health and life’s everyday challenging circumstances.

And while the football team has provided a wider scope for discussions about mental health, Peter hopes the new sessions will allow some people to get a more direct connection with people coping with the same issues as them.

He said: “Place 2 Place FC has been great, but it has shown at times that if you haven’t been through a certain subject sometimes it’s hard to understand - as with the group meets to discuss their experiences with suicide/bereavement for example. Hopefully there is an understanding like ‘yeah I’ve been through that, that’s how I felt’.”

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