TWO friends who have struggled with depression and anxiety have set up a mental health group to provide support to those struggling in Millom

Dale Mcglaughlan and Matthew Pedley founded Chip-Ped off the Block, a group to help people connect, share and talk about mental health.

The group held its first session on Thursday (February 1) at Millom Network Centre, with 15 people from all age ranges turning up. 

"The reason we started the group is that Millom is very isolated at times," said Matthew.

"I went through depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts, tried to take my life twice, and I didn't know where to turn. I tried the doctors and all sorts.

"Dale has been through grief and loss and didn't know where to turn so we set up the group together to try and make a new, safe place where people can come and talk to us."

Matthew explained that the group is there to guide people and make them realise that they do not have to struggle alone.

"We want to have a regular mental health service in Millom that runs on for years so we can help as many people as we can," he said.

"We have got a lot in the pipeline, including a podcast we are going to put out."

Data from the Office for National Statistics shows 13 deaths from suicide were registered in Copeland in 2022, according to the most recent year full figures.

This was up from eight in 2021, with 14 registered in 2020.

Over the last three years of available data, the suicide rate in Copeland stood at 20.6 deaths per 100,000 people.

Contact Samaritans for free at any time on 116 123 or visit

For more information about Chip-Ped off the Block, visit their Facebook page here.