New hope for suicide prevention
To mark World Mental Health Day 2018 Second Step launched a new project called Hope to prevent suicides among men.
Mental health, emotional wellbeing and suicide are all topics, more freely discussed today, than ever before. Yet one in five us will have suicidal thoughts and every 90 minutes someone will end their life.
The Hope Project provides short-term emotional and practical support for men, specifically those aged between 30 and 64, who are in psychological distress or have recently self-harmed, but are not currently engaged with other mental health services.
Hope Project manager, Jez Spencer said:
“Our 12 month pilot project in 2017 showed that short-term support from a skilled worker who understands the practical and emotional problems of dealing with employment, finances and housing issues can really help. The Hope Project widens the remit to seek out and support men who may not even think they need help, but who are in real trouble.”
Gerry (43) was one of our Hope clients during the pilot:
“What really helped me was the fact that the Hope worker knew what she was talking about and how people feel in these situations and nudging me, that’s sort of what it’s like, it’s kind of allowing me to sort myself out, almost giving you permission to just- ‘cos she knew that I knew what I needed to do, if you know what I’m saying, but she didn’t say that I was lazy for not doing it or anything like that... I’m getting up in the morning and thinking ok, what can I do now? So l think there’s ways we can bring in extra money and there’s also ways that we’ve been spending less, so, that part of it has kind of happened by default, if you know what I mean, like as though there’s a part of me feeling more like a man in myself, these little things have been taking care of themselves in a way.”
The Hope Project team are experienced support workers keen to make a difference and save lives. To find out more or to make a referral and talk to a member of the Hope team, please call:
Facts and statistics
- Bristol has a much higher suicide rate than the national average.
Debt, austerity and unemployment are estimated to have contributed to an 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.
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.
Some useful information
Following our well-received radio programme about suicide prevention and the Hope Project on 19 March 2019, we'd like to share this information with you.
Stranger on The Bridge tells the moving story of Jonny Benjamin. Having been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder shortly beforehand, Jonny stood on London’s Waterloo Bridge in January 2008 planning to jump, until a stranger talked him. The play is a heart-warming, inspirational and deeply moving production featuring Jonny Benjamin himself and will be showing at Bristol’s Tobacco Factory from 14 – 18 May. Tickets are £12, get them quick as there’s limited availability. You can find out more here.
Reasons to Stay Alive is the title of an inspirational book and album by Andy Burrows and Matt Haig. The book and the album are around £10 each to buy.
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.