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Blackburn College recognised for Outstanding Contribution to Men’s Mental Health

Blackburn College Safeguarding Officer Francesca Keogh, Assistant Principal for Student Engagement and Support, Andrew Pickles and Pastoral Team member Luke Gibson.

Blackburn College has been recognised by Lancashire Mind for their ‘Outstanding Contribution to Men’s Mental Health’.

Blackburn College received the award for their hard work and involvement with the ‘Facing Up’ project – a project aimed at empowering young men by giving them the time and the tools to approach mental health problems positively by speaking out and facing up to challenges rather than keeping quiet.

In engaging with the campaign young males at Blackburn College have been supported to face their problems through a series of weekly drop in sessions on-site at the Feilden-street campus, facilitated by Lancashire Mind.

Approximately 150 young men engaged with the project over 3 years at Blackburn College and – in recognition of their support in tackling this agenda, Blackburn College will feature in the national Mind Charity Annual Report showcasing their work.

The statistics are eye opening. If you are a man, and assuming you have at least three friends, one of them will experience a mental health problem each year. So it’s no surprise that everyone somewhere is likely to be within touching distance of someone who may, one day, need support.

That’s the scale of mental health problems facing men in the UK. Drill down further and the statistics show that in 2015, 75% of all suicides in the UK were male. This makes male suicide the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK.

Andrew Pickles, Assistant Principal Student Support and Engagement said:

“We’re delighted to win this award from Lancashire Mind and it’s incredibly important to us.

“We know that stress, financial and money worries, anger, break ups, concerns surrounding sexuality, feeling meaningful and depression affects many man and the Facing Up project has been supporting men in Blackburn with Darwen.

“Blackburn College have been playing their part by working with students that are experiencing these problems.

“It has given young men the chance to meet up, offload and share tips and tools to boost their mental wellbeing via Offload Groups facilities by Lancashire Mind.”

“The Blackburn College Safeguarding team should be incredibly proud their work has been recognised in this way.”

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