Former heavyweight boxing champion Frank Bruno has called on men to “step in” if they think a friend has mental health problems.
Having a friend’s support during a time of need can make “all the difference”, he said.
Bruno, who has struggled with mental health problems for many years, is fronting a new campaign by Time To Change – a coalition of mental health charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness.
The In Your Corner campaign encourages men to be more open and supportive of their friends when it comes to mental health.
“I’m backing the In Your Corner campaign because too many people are suffering in silence,” said Bruno, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
“This has to change. I know from my own experience that mental illness can ruin lives. It almost destroyed mine.
“Mental health problems can affect anyone at any time so if you think your mate’s on the ropes, step in and be the corner man they need. Take it from me, it can make all the difference.”
Time To Change director Sue Baker added: “We know that men want to be there for each other but when it comes to mental health, many are still wary of acting on their concerns.
“This is why it’s great to have heroes like Frank throwing their weight behind our campaign to improve attitudes towards mental health.
“We need men to see that looking out for each other’s mental health is part of being a good mate. Doing this would mean fewer men facing mental health problems alone, sometimes with devastating consequences.”