Hope Project

The Hope Project provides short-term emotional and practical support for men aged 30-64, specifically those who are in psychological distress or have recently self-harmed.  Our aim is to prevent suicide among this high-risk group.

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. We know that 62% of all suicides are by people who aren’t known or connected to any services.

If your are a man wanting to seek support please contact on hope@second-step.co.uk. or call 0117 909 6630.

"Hope saved my life"

We’re delighted to have achieved national recognition with the publication of an independent evaluation into the suicide prevention work we’re doing in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire. The report validates the great work we’re doing with middle-aged men, the efficacy of our approach to offer men in crisis both emotional and practical support and the fact we’re saving lives. The results, published in BMC Psychiatry and the Journal of Mental Health, demonstrate the profound effect that Hope had on the men who engaged with it. Read more about the study here.


“It was only a few years ago now that I was convinced that there was no way back for me really. That’s how bad I felt. Hope let me see a way forward and that things could change and improve. I feel like a different person to how I was then. I am excited and positive looking to my future.”

Christian, a former Hope client, who now works for Second Step as a Recovery Coach.

Facts and statistics

  • Bristol has a much higher suicide rate than the national average. 70% of suicides in Bristol are carried out by men, and middle-aged men are the highest risk group
  • Debt, austerity and unemployment are estimated to have contributed to 1,000 extra deaths from suicide and an additional 30,000-40,000 suicide attempts between 2008-2010 following the economic downturn. This reversed previous trends in Britain where suicide rates among men were falling
  • 62% of suicides are completed by people unknown to mental health services
  • Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire is one of eight national regions allocated funding from a new £25 million national suicide prevention investment by the Department for Health and Social Care, Public Health England (PHE) and NHS England, which aims to reduce the national suicide rate by 10% in three years
  • In the UK in 2018, there were 6,507 deaths by suicide (a rate of 11.2 deaths per 100,000 people).  This is a significant increase in the rate of deaths registered as suicide which has changed a trend of continuous decline since 2013.
  • Overall, men accounted for three-quarters of UK deaths by suicide in 2018.  Males aged 45 to 49 years had the highest age-specific suicide rate
  • Mental health, emotional wellbeing and suicide are all topics more freely discussed today than ever before.  Yet one in five of us will have suicidal thoughts and every 90 minutes someone will end their life.

Services to help you

  • The Samaritans offer a safe place for you to talk any time you like, in your own way – about whatever’s getting to you. You don’t have to be suicidal. Call for free any time, from any phone on 116 123 or you can email jo@samaritans.org.
  • Talking Money is a charity that helps people in financial hardship, face-to-face and over the phone. Call for free on 0800 121 4511
  • An online resource you may find helpful is stayingsafe.net

Some useful information

Low Cost Counselling.

Some counselling services offer reduced rates of around £11 to £15 a session to people on benefits. For example in Bristol ACPS and Heart to Heart

Five tips for helping someone in crisis

  • Talk to someone: a friend, a family member, the Samaritans, your GP
  • Find a safe space: somewhere with no stress and good support like The Sanctuary
  • Avoid drinking alcohol and taking drugs
  • Get involved: maybe meet up with a friend or join an exercise group
  • Getting to know yourself: so you can recognise your signs of stress, for example, physical symptoms like palpitations, or drinking more alcohol or withdrawing from life.