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Campaign to encourage players to open up

Campaign to encourage players to open up Credit: ITV Granada Reports

A campaign to help deal with mental health issues is being rolled out to a number of Merseyside cricket clubs.

The Opening Up charity was set up after the death of 23 year old Bootle player Alex Miller who killed himself in 2012.

The campaign will offer clubs fitness sessions that explore mental as well as physical health.

Seven Merseyside cricket clubs have signed on for groundbreaking fitness sessions - aimed not just at players' muscles but their minds.

Opening Up is putting on the first workshops of this type Credit: ITV Granada Reports

The free sessions offer cricket-focused aerobic drills, led by personal trainers, combined with practical exercises and discussion. The idea is to encourage players to identify potential issues and open up without stigma.

It promotes mental health and wellbeing, and suicide prevention, through cricket and partners include Lancashire Cricket Board, Edge Hill University and The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM).

"The interchangeable benefits of physical and mental fitness are often overlooked. We want to give clubs an insight to this area.

"For too long mental health has been neglected in sport. We aim to use the sessions to equip players to not only look after their own wellbeing but of those around them.

"Our campaign comes within a shocking context that suicide is the biggest killer of men under 50 in this country and steps need to be made urgently to address the causes of this, starting with getting males to open up and talk about their feelings more."

– Opening Up co-ordinator Mark Boyns
Seven cricket clubs have signed up for the sessions Credit: ITV Granada Reports

"It's a fresh start for everyone at the club so I'm hoping it will bring us all together and help build team spirit ahead of what I'm hoping will be a successful season not only for the first team but the whole of Bootle Cricket Club."

– Craig Prince, 1st XI captain of Bootle CC

Mental health summit held in Greater Manchester

The police and NHS will meet in Greater Manchester today to discuss how to tackle mental health issues. It follows a pilot scheme in Oldham to help officers identify people who need support from professionals when they attend incidents. The scheme has since been extended across the whole area.

The mental health triage scheme gives police officers 24 hour telephone contact with specialist mental health teams to make sure the person involved gets the right care. Previously officers made a decision based on their own assessment. Following its launch in Oldham in December last year, the service has resulted in quicker assessments for people suffering a mental health crisis. Police say the the service means people suffering a mental health crisis are getting the support they need more quickly and are being looked after by a healthcare professional – not by a police officer and not in a police cell.

We need to make sure that the vulnerable people in our community get the care and support they need and this scheme is enabling that. It’s clear the scheme is having a positive impact, not just on reducing demands on policing, but more importantly improving how people suffering from a mental health crisis are treated. This is an example of genuine partnership working and it’s great to see it rolled out across Greater Manchester.”

– Tony Lloyd, Crime Commissioner

We have to work in partnership to ensure people suffering from mental health problems and their carers receive the most appropriate service when they need it.

“GMP has been working closely with mental health specialists across Greater Manchester to provide training to officers so they know how to deal with people suffering a mental health crisis, to support those individuals and treat them with respect. Officers also have access to mental health teams 24 hours a day, seven days a week so that people can get the help they need much quicker and the demands on police officer time is reduced.”

– David Wilkinson, Strategic Lead for Mental Health

Self harm and suicide rates "double"

People self-harming or attempting suicide at mental health hospitals has doubled in parts of the region, according to figures obtained by the Labour Party.

Shadow Public Health Minister and Liverpool MP Luciana Berger says incidents in Manchester, Merseyside and Cheshire have risen from 1877 hundred to over 3072 over a three year period. The figures were obtained by a freedom of information request.

Meanwhile some health experts are warning that acute mental health services are struggling to cope with demand.

The figures were disclosed by mental health trusts Credit: pa

People with mental health issues more likely to be killed

People with mental health problems are more likely to be murder or manslaughter victims Credit: PA

A new study says people with mental health problems are two and a half times more likely to be murder or manslaughter victims.

Over a three-year period, 1,496 people in England and Wales were killed in homicides, the research showed. Of these, 6% had been under the care of mental health services.

A third of the patient victims were killed by other individuals suffering from mental illness.

Professor Louis Appleby from the University of Manchester, who led the study said "Our findings show mental health providers can expect one of their patients to be a homicide victim every two years."


New app aims to keep mental health In Hand

The In Hand app has been developed at Fact in Liverpool. Credit: FACT

A group of young people from Liverpool who have helped develop a smartphone app designed to help youngsters with mental health issues.

The 'In Hand' app is the first of its kind and has been developed in response to growing concerns over mental health problems among under-18s, with one in ten now thought to be living with a diagnosable condition in the UK.

The launch of the In Hand app. Credit: FACT
The In Hand app. Credit: FACT
  1. Amy Welch

Protest against mental health cuts

Protest against mental health cuts Credit: Granada Reports

Hundreds of protestors have been marching through Eccles in protest at cuts to mental health services. Campaigners from Bolton, Salford and Trafford took part in the rally. They're angry at proposals to reduce the number of beds by 20 percent over the next two years.

NHS England say they've been working solidly to ensure high quality care.

  1. Matt O'Donoghue

Exclusive: GMP chief says police 'tied up' dealing with mental illness

The Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police says his officers are spending more and more time helping vulnerable people with mental health issues.

Sir Peter Fahy says 'it's a scandal' that officers' time is being tied up dealing with people who need psychiatric help.

Meanwhile; the families of people with mental health problems say they're now expected to do the jobs of trained professionals.

NHS England says no funding had been cut for mental health services and that a five year plan is now underway to provide greater support for mental health services.

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