A MEN’S health champion has been appointed in Darlington in a bid to improve the physical and mental health of the town’s male population.

Councillor David Regan has pledged to do more to push men’s issues higher on the local and national agenda through his new position at Darlington Borough Council.

With suicide rates higher and life expectancy lower for men than women, Cllr Regan’s main priority is to encourage more men to seek help on a variety of issues – from mental and physical health to fatherhood and domestic violence.

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He said: “The biggest problem is that men won’t go to specific services and get help and so they often end up leaving things too late, to the point where sometimes it’s too late to help them with something like cancer or stress.

“I’m trying to get them to open up before that stage and get treatment before they have to go to hospital as a last resort.

“There’s a big proportion of men whose own role models, like their fathers, have never bothered and it is only when they’re hit badly by something like cancer in the family that they’ll start checking.”

Cllr Regan will use his role to raise awareness of men’s issues and will work with organisations to push forward ideas around support and advice.