New lifeline offered to local ex-military in Wigan

Veterans' mental health is being placed under a closer focus
Veterans' mental health is being placed under a closer focus

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

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.”

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’.”

To find out more, visit facebook.com/place2placefc or call 07939 346875.