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New grant to improve mental health help for boys and men
Boys and men are set to benefit from improved mental health support after Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) was awarded a £118,000 grant to further develop the care it provides.

The money has been given to NSFT by the Burdett Trust for Nursing, which was set up in 2002 and makes charitable grants which support the contribution nurses make to healthcare.

Although detailed plans of how the grant will be spent are still being developed, it is likely some of the funding will be used to improve access to services so that males find it easier to ask for help when struggling with their mental health.

It is hoped that reaching boys and men at an earlier stage will also help reduce suicide rates among a group which statistics show is more likely to consider taking their own lives.

Dr Roger Kingerlee, Senior Clinical Psychologist with NSFT, said: “These funds are a major step forward as they will enable us to work with men and boys in new and progressive ways while potentially saving lives.

“We know from both research and day-to-day clinical experience that males of all ages often find it difficult – to begin with – to ask for psychological help. However, once they do, they can very often quickly learn new skills and increase their emotional repertoire to enable them to recover from the issues they were facing.

“As a result, one way in which the money could be spent would be on further improving the accessibility of mental health services to boys and men. Anecdotal evidence locally and nationally suggests that they may be more comfortable connecting initially via social media, then building up gradually to full contact, which is something we could explore.

“By increasing the help and local expertise available, we would hope and predict that men will feel and be safer at times of stress in their lives, which they can learn to navigate using new emotional skills. In some cases, whether directly or indirectly, this may potentially help to save lives.”