“We are here to listen”

The community of Telford and Wrekin gathered in Southwater Square to show they are here to listen, for World Suicide Prevention Day.

As part of the event, 94 pairs of shoes were placed around Southwater Square to highlight that 94 men shocking fact 94 men take their own lives each week in the UK.

Local campaigners who have experienced a loved one taking their own life organised the event with support from Telford & Wrekin Council.

The local campaigners have developed the concept and named it Project 94, "can you hear me."

Stands were open in Southwater during the day for people to learn more about the support available locally and nationally and offered advice on how to talk to people experiencing suicidal thoughts.

Support groups were there with information on help available locally and nationally for people experiencing suicidal thoughts.

Cabinet members at Telford and Wrekin Council also raised money through a sponsored bike ride for the Cameron Grant Memorial Trust, at the event.

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.

"That's why we want more men to talk about and end the stigma around male suicide and encourage people to talk and listen.

"You are not alone - we are here to listen."

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

"We need to raise as much awareness as we can, in the hope that people will know it's ok not to be ok.

"This whole event is about showing that the Telford and Wrekin Community is here to listen if you are having suicidal thoughts.

"We also want people to really listen and hear what people have to say."

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

"All of us can do something to prevent suicide - 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 known to mental health services - that's why it's important to ask people how they are.

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

"Every life lost to suicide is a tragedy, one that can be prevented by listening and talking to someone.

"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."

Pictured: The 94 pairs of shoes laid out in the TelfordPark Arena ahead of the weekend event in Southwater.