Suicide is the biggest killer of men aged under 50. New figures revealed recently showed a drop in the suicide rate but even so, 5668 people in the UK had taken their life by suicide in 2016.
Here in Sheffield we want to see that number fall to zero. Sheffield Council, health organisations and a number of other community partners, have come together to create a suicide prevention group, aiming to do all that we can to reduce the risk of suicide.
Recognising that there is no one single action that will prevent suicide, we – much like Sheffield Flourish – want to work towards a more mental health friendly Sheffield by:
- Supporting people to have good mental well-being.
- Helping people to better understand mental health so we can reduce stigma around people facing mental health challenges.
- Making sure people to know what support is there when they need it and how to access it.
The suicide prevention group is focussing on raising people’s awareness of suicide as an issue and of the need for people to have honest conversations about it. Measures like simple and practical training that can be given to frontline workers can be extremely effective – this has already been shown to be successful in addressing the risk of suicides linked to the rail network.
This September, the group launched a suicide prevention campaign aimed specifically at men. The campaign was timed to link in with World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10th and used 3 designs each featuring a male comedy double act to highlight men’s tendency to not to talk about how they’re feeling. The campaign was launched with the support of ex-world champion boxer Johnny Nelson, along with Dave and Suzanne McAllister who set up the organisation Storms following the suicide of their son, Dan.
The designs are being shared widely through social media, on posters in key venues such as GPs and libraries, and through credit card sized cards, handed out in the town centre on September 13th by a range of partners. The cards highlight the support that is available for people in Sheffield, including:
- Sheffield 24 hour helpline: 0808 8010440
- Samaritans freephone: 116123
- National men’s helpline, CALM: 0800 585858
To find out more about the suicide prevention campaign or show your support, look for #StayAlive on Twitter