MEN have joined forces in a new brotherhood to show others it's not weak to speak up about their mental health.

Following a six-month pilot scheme Men’s Mental Health in Swindon is kicking off a new talk club next month with the help of Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service.

The aim is to end the stigma of talking about emotions and help to cut the suicide rate.

Co-founder of MMH Alex Pollock said: “I’m so thrilled we’ve managed to bring this to life in Swindon.

“Talk clubs are popping up on a weekly basis all over the UK and are becoming vital forms of brotherhoods and peer groups to guys in communities.”

He was shocked to find suicide in men had gone up for the first time in five years in the UK.

The Adver reported this week that the suicide rate in Swindon is lower than the rate across the South West.

In Swindon the figure for the number of people who took their own lives last year was 7.8 per 1,000. The regional level was 11.1 per 1,000.

But Alex explained: “This is a preventative approach to encourage local men to talk in a peer group about the stresses of daily life and form new connections in a safe and confidential environment.”

Fire service area manager Ian Jeary, has been working with Alex to get the club started. “People will be saying how they are feeling and we aren’t trained counsellors, but it’s about getting anyone who wants to talk about something to say it in a safe and confidential way.

“They shouldn’t feel that talking about their mental health will be detrimental to their career.”

The talk club will be open to men aged between 18 and 50, but the sessions won’t be offering therapy or clinical intervention.

Men can connect with others who join the club and what is said in the room stays in the room.

MMH will release a film for the campaign tomorrow on their Facebook page, featuring four men talking about their mental health and working in a stressful environment.

“In the emergency services the workers as a whole are at risk of having mental health issues because of stress and the workloads that come with the job," said Ian.

"It’s important that people are able to have safe conversations and have people to talk to and to know that it’s okay not to be okay and to ask for help.”

The first talk is on October 3 at 7pm at the fire station on Drove Road. The sessions will be held every Thursday.