Hope Project gets Parliamentary thumbs up

Did you know that suicide is the biggest cause of death in men under the age of 50 and, what’s more, men make up around three quarters of all deaths from suicide every year?  

According to recent statistics more than 74% of suicides last year were men* (see end of article for full statistics).  

These statistics still have the ability to shock despite being the case for a number of years. 

This is why Second Step’s Hope Project was created in 2018 to work solely with men aged between 30 and 64 who are in psychological distress as a result of their finances, housing or employment. 

Earlier this month our Hope Project Team Manager Marina O’Brien was invited to share her expertise and learning with Parliament’s advisory group of experts and MPs looking into the issue of male suicide. 

Marina said the event was inspiring and she was able to give some advice about how best to reduce the risk facing middle-aged men.  

“The best way to support these men is to offer timely interventions of practical help such as providing support to access housing, to retain employment, and help navigate a complicated benefit system and manage debts.” 

Louis Appleby is Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Manchester and Director of the National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Safety in Mental Health co-chaired the event. He leads the National Suicide Prevention Strategy for England and congratulated Marina on her contribution to the meeting. He said:  

“[The Hope Project] is very interesting and clearly in line with the aims of the national strategy.”

“This is hugely important and successful work based on skilled one-to-one support for men who’ve hit crisis point,” said our CEO Aileen Edwards. “We work with partners to provide support at the earliest opportunity and hope that one day these kinds of specialist interventions will be available to all men at any time.”

Through the Hope Project, our experienced support workers work with men across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire over a twelve-week period, and specifically focus on helping men who aren’t currently using mental health services. 

Find out more about The Hope Project.  

Please be aware, we are not a crisis service. If you need help right now, call AWP’s 24-hour urgent response line FREE on 0800 953 1919

*Statistics from the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) Suicide Prevention Portfolio from September 2022 to November 2023: 

  • 3,728 (74.3%) suicides were in males and 1,288 (25.7%) in females 
  • 464  (9.3%) were in people aged 10 to 24 
  • 1,888 (37.6%) in people aged 25 to 44 
  • 1,934 (38.6%) in people aged 45 to 64 
  • 730 (14.6%) in people aged 65 and over 
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