Charity urges men to speak about their mental health as demand surges

Peterhead-based Men United wants to help tackle the stigma often associated with mental health conditions.

A charity in the north-east of Scotland is encouraging men to speak up about their mental health struggles amid increasing demand for its services.

Peterhead-based Men United wants to help tackle the stigma often associated with mental health.

Sandy Garvock founded the charity four years ago after three young men in the local area took their own lives.

The group encourages anyone struggling to reach out and says it has helped to save dozens of lives in the local area.

Sandy shared his own first-hand experiences of mental health struggles.

‘‘I absolutely hated the life I had,” he told STV News.

‘‘One day I decided that was it and I was done. Thankfully, I got a phone call about 30 seconds before the actual event happened and that stopped me from going through with it. If it hadn’t of been for that phone call, I wouldn’t be here.’’

After the death of three men to suicide in Peterhead, Sandy knew urgent action was needed and he formed Men United.

Since opening, more than 800 men have been supported, both in-person and online across the world.

Jordan Craig is among those to have received support. After being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis five years ago, Jordan found himself at the darkest point in his life but said the charity has been lifesaving.

‘‘I lost my house, I lost my cars and my marriage broke up’’ Jordan said.

‘‘If it wasn’t for this place, I wouldn’t be here. The guys here have been absolutely amazing, I would genuinely class all of them as brothers.’’

The charity has also launched groups in Turriff and Newmachar, as well as a group for 16–21-year-olds in Peterhead.

Men United’s doors are open five days a week for anyone in need of some support and encouragement.

Help and support is available now if you need it. Details of services available can be found at

When life is difficult, Samaritans are here – day or night, 365 days a year. You can call them for free on 116 123, email them at, or visit to find your nearest branch.

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