Rishton Arms launched its inaugural mental health night yesterday (October 16), which aims to be a ‘safe space’ for men.

The weekly event offers a space for men to talk about their feelings and support each other during difficult times.

The idea sparked from Matt Wilkinson, who will be hosting the event, after he overcame challenges in his personal life.

The Safe Space event is held at 7pm every Monday at the Rishton Arms in Station Road. 

The Rishton Arms is discouraging drinking alcohol during the evenings as it’s a depressant and want it to be as inclusive and affordable as possible.

It's a free event offering access to the pool room, which can seat up to 40 people, free supper, pool, and use of the jukebox. Tea and coffee is also available to purchase for just £1.

Iona Mifsud, events organiser at the Rishton Arms, said: “It’s been really difficult for men to talk about their mental health and any lifechanging experiences they’re struggling with.

"Women experience the same problems but there seems to be a lot more support out their for women, whereas men are just told to ‘man up’, which is a terrible phrase.

“The event was inspired by a local man, Matt Wilkinson who went through the worst times.

"He’s a bubbly and confident person so you’d never think that behind closed doors he’d be suffering. So Matt and I decided to run this event and try and help men going through similar things.

“We want all men, whether they’re feeling depressed or lonely, or if they aren’t going through anything at the moment, to come along because we want to open up conversation and break the stigma of mental health.”

Harriet Clarkson, manager at the Rishton Arms, said: “We’re very much a community hub and do a lot of charity events so we are really happy to be able to support something like this because it’s important to raise awareness for and support.

“Local man Matt Wilkinson will be hosting the night each week. It's Matt who has inspired us to do this, through his bravery and courage whilst he's been experiencing some difficult times lately.

“Matt, you're amazing! We're proud to know you and we're proud to be on this journey with you.”

The event has been met with an overwhelming positive response from residents with one person adding: “If this stops just one person from suicide or doing something regrettable then it's worth it's weight in gold.”