Actress’ support for mental health

Former client Colin Williams, Rachael Byrne, and Denise Welch

Former client Colin Williams, Rachael Byrne, and Denise Welch

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A well-known actress and TV presenter who once battled with depression has become the first ambassador for a Blackpool mental health service.

Waterloo Road star and Loose Women regular Denise Welch now represents the Home Group’s step down service, which supports people with mental health problems.

She said: “I’ve been very impressed with the service I’ve seen in Blackpool and enjoyed sharing experiences with the clients.

“I have experienced depression in the past and I was lucky that I had a great family and friends who were able to support me. If I hadn’t had such a support network life would have been much more difficult.

“Services provided by Home Group really do help people who need that support network and I’m delighted to have been invited to become their first mental health ambassador.”

The step down service, in Hornby Road, provides short-term accommodation for people who no longer need to remain in hospital care, but need extra support before returning to their everday lives. It helped 55 people in its first year and is estimated to have saved the taxpayer at least £100,000 in that time.

Rachael Byrne, Home Group executive director for new models of care, said: “We’re delighted that Denise has agreed to become our Ambassador. Denise has a high public profile and she’s already used that to raise awareness of mental health issues.”