Highlighting Loneliness for Mental Health Awareness Week

Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, John Dwyer, is encouraging people to reach out to those who may be struggling with their mental health. 9-15 May marks Mental Health Awareness week, and the Commissioner met with Cheshire-based charity Lean On Me to discuss support in the county.

Police and Crime Commissioner John Dwyer with Rachael Dyer and Jay

The theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is ‘Together we can tackle loneliness’. One quarter of adults feel lonely some or all of the time and the impact of many months of lockdown during the pandemic has taken a toll on people’s mental health.

Lean On Me was founded by Crewe resident Rachael Dyer and the charity offers therapy and mentoring to people across the country who have experienced mental health issues and suicidal thoughts, particularly men.

John Dwyer, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire said “Loneliness can lead people to a dark place, especially for men who often face stigma in speaking out about mental health issues, so I am extremely grateful to Rachael for her insight into mental health support in Cheshire.

“I want everyone in Cheshire to know that support is available, and that getting help starts with a simple conversation. It’s up to all of us to promote services where people can get support and to start that conversation with people who may be struggling.”

Rachael Dyer, Founder of Lean On Me said “Lean On Me was initially set up to help everyone and anyone, but I saw that support was needed particularly with male mental health, male suicide prevention and male victims of domestic abuse.

“I am working tirelessly on my own to put in the support that is needed and will continue to put my heart and soul into anyone who suffers from mental health issues. I’ll be starting drop-in sessions during Mental Health Awareness Week so please keep an eye on the Lean On Me Facebook page for details.”

The Commissioner also heard from Jay, who recently moved to Cheshire from another part of the country and wanted to share his experience with mental health and the support he has received from Lean On Me.

Jay said “When I came here I tried to get the support I needed. I came here to nothing, but since I met Rachael at Lean On Me I know I have consistent and reliable support.

“She helps me with reading and writing, listens if I want to talk, and helps with things like referring me to doctors. Without Rachael I wouldn’t be able to keep striving and pushing.”

To find out more about Lean On Me, visit Facebook.

For more information about Mental Health Awareness Week.

A directory of mental health services in Cheshire is available at www.cheshire-pcc.gov.uk/victims-hub/categories/mental-health-wellbeing