TV's top cop teams up with Calderdale mental health advocate

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A leading mental health figurehead in Calderdale has joined forces with TV personality police officer.

Luke Ambler, the founder of Andy's Man Club - a national leading mental health charity - has joined forces with TV police interceptor Ben Pearson to help raise awareness of men's mental health with an open and honest live conversation on December 14 at 12pm.

Ambler and Pearson will be in a socially distant setting at the Andy's Man Club headquarters at Croft Myl in Halifax.

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Mr Ambler said: "It takes true courage for a tough man to admit when he’s down.

TV police interceptor Ben PearsonTV police interceptor Ben Pearson
TV police interceptor Ben Pearson

"We receive hundreds of messages each month saying we have saved a life, and that's what it’s for, so that another family doesn’t have to bury their son.

"I'm looking forward to meeting and chatting to Ben Pearson and hope together we can help others out there who are also struggling and need to hear they are not alone."

The conversation will be streamed live online for free to the club's Facebook. The recording will remain online for the foreseeable to help men and their loved ones to spot the signs and seek help.

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Bradford born; Benjamin Pearson always dreamed of joining the police to help others.

Luke AmblerLuke Ambler
Luke Ambler

He joined West Yorkshire Police, his local force in 2001 aged 25.

He began his career out on patrol and as a tutor constable training new officers before joining the special operational and Roads Policing Unit. Pearson, a familiar face on Channel 5’s popular TV series Police Interceptors, dedicated 19 years to serving and protecting the public, his community, before he was forced to give it all up and retire in October 2020 due to ill health, a suicide attempt, multiple cries for help, and being diagnosed with work-related PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

Former West Yorkshire Police Traffic Officer Ben Pearson Said: “I hope my story and me being as open as I can reaches men out there to know they are not alone and it's not their fault if they suffer with mental health illnesses as it can happen to any of us.

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"I'm an example of that. I also feel that working with Luke Ambler and Andy's Man Club will help men - those inside and outside of policing, and their families (and employers) to spot the signs and seek help before it's too late."

According to the Samaritans, more than 6,000 people across the UK and Republic of Ireland take their own lives each year, with tens of thousands more attempt suicide.

Suicide is more common among some groups than others: for example, it is more likely among men than women, and in particular men in their 40s and 50s from a lower socio-economic group. Suicides are preventable with timely, evidence-based interventions.