A NEW organisation wants to help men who may have concerns about their mental health but who might find it difficult to reveal their feelings.

Men Against Loneliness And Depression has been set at Lochgelly Centre on a Monday night from 6pm and 7pm when men who want to talk about problems they may have can have a chat in an informal setting with people who are ready to provide assistance.

MALAD has a committee of seven people who have set the group up and two of them, who feel there is a massive need for such an organisation in the Cowdenbeath-Lochgelly area, are husband and wife team Ashley and Blair Greig.

Ashley is the chairperson of MALAD and Blair is treasurer, with Rhys Greig vice chair and secretary, with committee members Michaela Spacey, Darren McMillan, Scott Bell and Darren Clark.

Ashley, from McGregor Avenue, explained: “The statistics for 2017 showed that in Scotland 670+ people committed suicide that year with only 30 of them women.

“More locally, over the past year in this area, there have been a number of men, many of them very young, who have taken their own lives and that is something we think that needs to be addressed.

"Men often feel it very difficult to express their emotions and it can lead to the build of pressure inside which can lead to suicides.

"We want to open the door to men to help them to speak about things that are really concerning them. We have people who can listen and offer appropriate advice which hopefully can ease the distress that the person may be in.

"We want to show people that they do not have to be afraid to speak about their problems, be open for it is all about their mental health."

Blair lost his brother some time back and that has cemented in him the need for MALAD: "This area is no different from every part of the country.

"Men do find it difficult to express their emotions and if the group can help people grasp the opportunity to offload their problems then it can make a huge difference to them and help them see light at the end of the tunnel.

"The key thing is that no one is on their own, MALAD has people who can provide the listening ear and help that can make a difference."

The group's committee all have had experiences which helps them understand what problems someone might have been wrestling with which has worn them down. They can provide key advice to help smooth the path ahead.

Ashley has spent 18 months getting the committee together to set MALAD up at the Lochgelly Centre and she said that youth and community worker Lorraine Mullen had been instrumental in them reaching the stage whereby the group meets weekly on Monday evenings.

"Lorraine has been exceptional in helping us with our facilities at the Centre and it provides us with an idea base to help people," she added.

"We have people who can provide so much help for someone who may have concerns which may seem to them to be overwhelming, but after a short time can be eased."

The committee is currently trying to build up its resources to ensure it is going to be around for a long time to help people and they will be approaching a number of funding streams over the coming weeks for backing.

And Ashley, who runs the Beauty Den in Lochgelly, added: "Donations from the people can be so valuable, no matter how small and what might seem insignificant is very valuable and helpful and not just funds, things like a kettle can be so valuable.

"We have had a number of people coming along to our first couple of meetings and they certainly seem to have found it has helped them so we hope more will take the opportunity to come along on a Monday between 6 and 7 to the sessions at Lochgelly Centre."

You can message the group on their MALAD Facebook page or email the group on maladfoundation@gmail.com