A brewery and pub group is launching a new scheme to increase awareness of mental health issues among its staff and customers.

Liberation Group  has joined forces with mental health charity MIND to offer staff the opportunity to complete a mental health awareness course.

The course will enable people to recognise when team members and customers might be suffering with poor mental health so they can offer support and put them in contact with MIND.

In addition, the firm will also be launching MIND Mondays which will be weekly coffee afternoons to encourage people to meet, talk more and enjoy a free coffee or tea every Monday, starting from next week.

It coincides with Blue Monday, the third Monday of January which is given its name due to post-Christmas blues, lack of money and cold, damp weather. It will  run until the end of February 2020.

Jonathan Lawson, CEO, Liberation Group says: "Mental health issues are common and likely to affect one in four of us during our lifetimes.

"The pub has long been somewhere where people can see a friendly face and have a chat so we wanted to encourage this even more by launching MIND Mondays to provide a safe haven for those who may need to chat or just be in the company of others.

"Recent studies have shown pubs can act as hubs for some lonely, isolated and vulnerable individuals and that this can make a real difference in their lives.

"At the same time, we have a responsibility to look after over 800 team members across our managed estate so it's important that this new emphasis on mental health makes a real and genuine impact."