MEN suffering in silence are being encouraged to open up about their mental health battles.

Latchford resident Jay Deakin, aged 30, runs the TALKHUB podcast and men’s mental health walk and talk sessions.

Jay, who has obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), is on a mission to help others.

He said: “I was just talking about my experiences a little bit with OCD and then spoke about different mental disorders and then I turned to doing interviews just after lockdown because it’s a bit more interesting to get other people’s life stories.

“The men’s group, I set that up because I know guys struggle to speak, I have done myself in the past, so I focus on the guys and try to get them to open up to each other.

“Sometimes it can be a bit of pressure and stress but it keeps me focused and stops me thinking about my stuff, my OCD thoughts and problems, it gives me something to really focus on.”

Jay also highlighted the difficulties that the coronavirus lockdown brought for people.

He said: “People lost their routine. We did virtual walks and then we started meeting up on Zoom and we spoke about where we’ve been for a walk and checked in on how we were feeling.

“That really grew over lockdown and it was getting really good numbers. It was something for the lads to look forward to.

“There are a lot of other good groups in Warrington and I work with them as well.

“We all help each other out, it’s really good what is going on in Warrington to be fair.

“I am passionate about helping people to be honest, I don’t want guys going through stuff on their own.

“I have been there when I was younger, I didn’t have any support and didn’t know anything about what was up with me.

“I think we are making good progress in Warrington.”

But despite the progress Jay believes there are many people in Warrington that continue to suffer alone.

He added: “We are making some progress but there’s a massive amount of people out there and we are not even scratching the surface really.”

You can follow the TALKHUB on Twitter and Instagram @talkhub_