A MEN’S mental health charity, which has been credited with saving people ‘s lives, cemented its place in the community at an official opening last week.

Men Matter, in Drumchapel, held its opening on Thursday, with members and their families celebrating the amazing changes it has already brought to the community.

The facility began last year as a pilot project. As suicide rates increased by 15 per cent, with the rates for men being three times that of women, the demand for the service has continued to grow.

Glasgow comedian Gary Faulds cut the ribbon on a photo exhibition which displayed striking images of members facing a waterfall.

Tony Crawford, local volunteer, explained: “The pictures are of some of our lads, the waterfall is the barrier to support, the voice in their head.

“It symbolises how we are often too scared to run through the waterfall because the impact of it will hurt, but only running through it can we reach the other side.

“It’s a bit like the lads walking through the door, it’s a massive first step but it truly has saved lives.”

Founders Peter Divers, 38, and Gregor Ritchie, 30, have been working hard to produce a safe space for men to talk and seek support for depression and other mental health issues, relying on local donations and help from the community to make the hub a success.

Peter, a local youth worker, praised many of the team who had helped, while members like Steph Davies praised the service’s impact on their mental health.

The demand for the service was made clear by the more than 40 men who attended in the first few weeks, and the centre has since grown into a hub which offers walking groups, football, family night and talking groups, to mention a few activities.

The hub has a gym, relaxation room, games room, pool tables, podcast studio and even a soft-play room to use on family night. There are also showers, a kitchen and a woodwork space.

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Jamie Maguire, who shared his story on the opening night, told how his life spiralled after his dad took his own life.

He said: “I started drinking everyday, I thought I was alright but I wasn’t.

“Now that I’ve got help from Men Matter, I realise I was in a really bad way with suicidal thoughts and the group has done so much for me.

“I said for weeks before I came that I was going to go, then when I finally did it was like a weight off my shoulders.

“I had struggled to talk to my brother about it all, how do you start a conversation about something which is impacting both of you?

“But then he came for a few weeks and because we were in the group the both of us spoke about it.

“The boys here have done a lot for this community.”

Reflecting on the impact the group has had, Peter added: “The work here is now being recognised by local GPs, they have referred men here who are suffering with isolation and depression.

“Men feel they need to be the shoulder to cry on, the strong one in the family; they feel an emotional and financial pressure to have it all figured out.

“Some men have told me they decided to come along just hours or days from considering suicide.”

Men Matter is located at 20 Drumchapel Road. The facility is open for men of all ages, from 10.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday, with a talking group on a Sunday.