Monmouthshire County Council is to raise awareness of International Men’s Day with a series of activities taking place on Friday 18th November. This year’s campaign centres on mental health and its theme is Stop Male Suicide.

Monmouthshire’s Youth Service employees will lead discussions with young people from Abergavenny’s King Henry VIII School.  Youth worker Darryl White said: “We’ve created a workshop to highlight male suicide and we’ll examine the contributing factors, while offering advice on talking about depression and directing people towards assistance. This should enable young people to link with key services or even a friend to help combat their concerns.”

 Abergavenny Community Hub will play host to a range of organisations providing support and prevention strategies from 12noon. Men’s health screening advice will be available- bowel cancer screening and abdominal aortic aneurysm screening while information will be provided on sight checks for older people.  In addition, information will be available to enable them to make the correct choices on eye health. The Healthy Homes Project – delivered by the South East Wales Energy Agency – will give guidance on maintaining and improving people’s health with energy efficiency measures to make homes warmer, drier and more affordable.  Staff from the South Wales Fire & Rescue will raise awareness of the importance of home fire safety checks – especially pertinent in the approach to Christmas.

 Other organisations at the community hub include Gambling Support Service, a free confidential service run by Newport CAB to reduce the impact of gambling-related harm, Managing Better – a partnership between Care & Repair Cymru, RNIB Cymru and Action on Hearing Loss Cymru helping older people across Wales manage better and stay safe in their own homes – and the Gwent Drug & Alcohol Service.  The Gwent Drug & Alcohol Service recognises that the families and loved ones of people who use substances may need as much support as the substance user themselves. This can include direct family, carers, neighbours, friends, support staff and anyone else connected to the person affected. It offers comprehensive therapeutic packages to families, friends and carers.

 Monmouthshire’s cabinet member with responsibility for social care, safeguarding and health, Councillor Geoff Burrows said: “The objectives of International Men’s Day include a focus on male health and its theme for 2016 – Stop Male Suicide – recognises that across the globe far too many men take their own lives.  We need to work together to reverse the pattern of male ill-health and suicide.”