It’s okay for men to not be okay

For World Suicide Prevention Day, the community of Telford and Wrekin will gather in Southwater Square to show they are here to help and listen.

It’s okay for men to not be okay

The event will occur on 11 September between 11 am and 4 pm to raise awareness that 94 men take their lives each week.

Ninety-four pairs of shoes will be placed around Southwater Square to highlight this shocking fact.

Local campaigners who have experienced a loved one taking their own life are helping to organise the event with Telford & Wrekin Council.

The local campaigners have developed the concept of the event and named it Project 94 “can you hear me.”

Support groups will be there on the day with information on help available locally and nationally for people experiencing suicidal thoughts.

The event will also feature street art, face painting, physical and creative activities and music. 

James, a campaigner on suicide prevention and one of the original “Can you hear me” ”concept creators, said: 

"According to Samaritans, men are three times more likely to take their own lives than women in the UK.

"Men tend to suffer alone rather than talk to someone or accept help. 

"We want to end the stigma around male suicide and encourage people and be ready to listen to how people feel."

Juliet, a campaigner on suicide prevention the other co-creator of “Can you hear me”, said: 

"We want to tell men that it's okay not to be okay and to reach out and talk to someone.

"This event is to show that people do care and are there for each other when times get hard." 

Councillor Andy Burford, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, said: 

"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.

"The majority of people who take their own lives aren't always known to mental health services.

"This event will show people that the Telford and Wrekin community is here to help and listen.

Councillor Kelly Middleton, Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board, said: 

“Every life lost to suicde is a tragedy, one that can often be prevented by listening and talking to someone when in need.

“Reach out to someone today, give them a call and ask them how they are.

"If you're struggling with suicidal thoughts, then pick up the phone - there is always someone there to help.”

Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin's Suicide Prevention Network will be handing out new "Z-cards" at the event.

The cards provide discrete support and advice on who to contact if you are experiencing suicidal thoughts or know someone who is.

For updates about the event in Southwater - join the Facebook Event.