Life-saving project to expand due to Covid-19
A suicide prevention service is to provide more emotional and practical support for men aged between 30 and 64.
The Hope Project, run by mental health charity Second Step in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, has already helped reduce depression among its clients by two thirds from 83% to 28.6%*. The evaluation also showed that clients’ suicidal thoughts and self-harm fell from 94.3% to 45.7%*
Due to the current situation caused by Covid-19, the project has recently taken on extra staff for a short period to support more men in distress. Since the project began 18 months ago, it has helped 384 men in psychological distress or who have recently self-harmed, but are not currently using other mental health services.
Bristol has a higher suicide rate than the national average, with more than 70% of suicides carried out by men. Statistics show that 62% of suicides are completed by people unknown to mental health services, with the highest group being middle-aged men. The Hope Project aims to prevent suicides among this high-risk group.
Hope Project manager Jez Spencer said:
We are seeing more men in distress and we expect even more as people lose their jobs and get into financial difficulties because of the Covid-19 crisis. We aim to speak to a new client within 24 hours and make an assessment within a week. This initial chat is so important and the work the team is doing is life-changing.
One of Hope’s clients recently said:
I cannot express enough how much you have helped. Just knowing that someone is there to reassure me or help with my concerns has been an absolute godsend. The weight that you’ve helped lift of my shoulders has been incredible. Every day I slowly feel I’m becoming me again.
To find out more about The Hope Project, visit here.
*The statistics come from an interim evaluation of the project carried out by University of Bristol who spoke to clients over a six month period.
The Hope Project has been staying in contact with its clients by phone during the current crisis. As the lockdown restrictions ease, Hope workers have started meeting clients again face-to-face.