A NEW self-harm support group is being launched in Keighley.

Fortnightly meetings are being held, for anyone aged 16-plus with self-harm/injury issues.

Help and support will also be provided to family members and friends.

Qualified mental health workers will be on hand, private one-to-one sessions are on offer with specially-trained listeners and counselling referrals can be made.

There's also a phone/text helpline, on 07376 616388.

All services are free.

Behind the initiative is Simon Woodvine, founder of Self-Harm Support Lancashire and Yorkshire.

He first established a support group, in Lancashire, in 2001.

"I was self-harming as a way of blocking emotional pain and upset," said Simon, 53.

"I started a support group because I couldn't find any help for people facing these and other specific issues – there were no services available.

"For the past eight years I've been running a self-harm group in Colne. Since I moved to West Yorkshire last year, I want to provide help to local people."

The new group will meet for the first time at the Aire Valley Business Centre, in Lawkholme Lane, on Tuesday January 25, between 7pm and 8.30pm – courtesy of the Homeless Not Hopeless charity, which is providing its premises.

Simon, who was awarded an MBE for his work, said: "We provide confidential help and support with a range of self-harm/injury issues including cutting, burning, scratching and bruising as well as eating disorders, alcohol/substance misuse and suicide ideation etc.

"It would be preferable if anyone planning to attend a meeting could contact me first on 07376 616388 – that way I can explain what the group is like and what to expect in meetings. However, people are more than welcome to just come along."

The group can also provide free professional and tailored training day workshops on self-harm awareness, for companies and organisations in both the public and private sectors.

A new branch of the men’s mental health group Andy’s Man Club is also opening in Keighley.

It will launch on January 31, at Project 6, 7pm.

Meetings will then take place every Monday, except on bank holidays.

Any man over 18 is welcome to attend.

Neil Waine, the club's project development champion, said: "We have been looking at opening a group for the men of Keighley for quite some time now and we're delighted that we can finally do so."

Anyone interested in attending is asked to email info@andysmanclub.co.uk.