Lotto cash boost for mental health
Counselling services credited with improving mental health are among groups are benefiting from a major funding boost.
The Big Lottery Fund announced grants of £51,840 to six projects across Northern Ireland under the Healthy Minds NI programme.
A man overcoming a childhood bereavement and a woman caring for disabled sons recounted how two of the groups to receive funding had changed their lives.
The services in line for funding include counselling sessions for men in Londonderry and a series of workshops for women in the North Down and Ards area.
The Men's Action Network (MAN) in Derry is using a grant of £9,325 to offer vital counselling sessions for local men.
The organisation's Director of Services and Development Michael Lynch said: "It can be very difficult for men to come forward and ask for help but the Network is here to provide that help and advice in a safe environment.
"Thanks to the grant from the Big Lottery Fund we are now able to engage up to 40 men throughout the year in counselling sessions."
Paul Sharkey praised MAN for helping him turn his life around over the last two years.
"Attending the anger management course was the best thing I have ever done. I would probably be in prison by now if I had not got this help," said the divorced father-of-six.
"It has changed my life completely and done wonders for my relationship with my children."