It’s okay for men to not be okay
Eighty four men gathered in Southwater Square during an 84 second silence, on 8 September, in an effort to raise awareness of the number of men who take their lives each week in the UK.
The event was organised by Telford and Wrekin Council and a local campaigner whose partner took their own life to mark World Suicide Prevention Day (10 September), where communities across the world come together to raise the issue.
Councillor Raj Mehta, Cabinet Member for Communities & Inclusivity, said: “Shockingly, 84 men take their lives each week in the UK, and men are three times more likely to take their own lives than women.
“That’s why we want more men to talk about and end the stigma around male suicide - its okay for men to not be okay.
“It’s good for people to talk when you are having thoughts of suicide weather that’s to someone you know or to a confidential support service, you are not alone, people are here to help.”
The Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin’s Suicide Prevention Network were at the event handing out new concertina “Zcards” that offer advice and support to those suffering from suicidal thoughts
The cards provide discrete support and advice on who to contact for anyone experiencing suicidal thoughts or someone who is concerned about someone else.
The cards will soon be made available across various locations in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin.
Councillor Raj Mehta, added: “We hope the new Zcards provide the opportunity to raise awareness that there is support out there and encourage those affected by suicide, to come forward.”
Stands were open in Southwater during the day for people to learn more about support available locally and nationally, and offered advice on how to talk to people experiencing suicidal thoughts.
Councillor Raj Mehta, added: “I'd like to give a big thank you toall of the 84 men and all the agencies and partners that supported this event
"Suicide is preventable, all of us can do something about it, and a short conversation is sometimes all it takes to save a person’s life.
“One of the best ways to learn about how an individual can do this is to undertake the 20 minute suicide prevention training provided by the Zero Suicide Alliance.”
People can undertake the training at zerosuicidealliance.com
Carolyn Steatham, whose child took their own life, said: “We lost an amazingly kind generous soul to suicide. My son’s passing left a hole in our lives.
“We need to raise as much awareness as we can, in the hope that one day, men will know its okay to not be okay.”
Money was also raised at the event for a sponsored bike ride by Cllr Lee Carter and Cllr Dave Wright to help raise money for CALM, the Campaign Against Living Miserably. You can contribute to CALM on their Just Giving page.