Event aims to break stigma around male suicide

Event aims to break stigma around male suicide

Organisations from the public, voluntary and community sector with be gathering in Southwater Square on 8 September between 11am and 1pm, to mark World Suicide Prevention Day.

Organised by Telford and Wrekin Council and a local campaigner whose partner took their own life, the event will raise the issue of male suicide and the fact that 84 men take their own lives each week in the UK.

To symbolise this, 84 men will stand around the square in Southwater at 12pm, each holding what they feel is their reason to live during an 84 second silence in remembrance.

Stands will also be available for people to learn more about support available locally and nationally for people experiencing suicidal thoughts.

Cllr Lee Carter and Cllr Dave Wright will be taking part in a sponsored bike ride to help raise money for CALM, the Campaign Against Living Miserably, which people at the event can contribute too.

Various sporting and creative activities will also be taking place in the square for people and families to take part it.

A local campaigner on the issue of suicide prevention, said: “There is still a stigma around suicide, particularly male suicide, which needs to end.

“According to Samaritans, men are three times more likely to take their own lives than women in the UK.

“This event will provide us with the opportunity to raise awareness of support out there and encourage those affected by suicide, to come forward. You are not alone, we are here to help.”

Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin’s Suicide Prevention Network will be handing out new “Z-cards,” which will be launched at the event.

The cards provide discrete support and advice on who to contact for anyone experiencing suicidal thoughts or someone who is concerned about someone else.

The cards will soon be made available across various locations in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin.

Councillor Raj Mehta, Cabinet Member for Communities & Inclusivity, said: “Suicide is preventable, all of us can do something about it, and a short conversation is sometimes all it takes to save a person’s life.

“I’d therefore encourage anyone in Southwater on 8 September to drop by the event to learn about the issues of suicide and what people can do to talk about the issue more.”

“If you’re not at the event then people can seek out the online suicide prevention training provided by the Zero Suicide Alliance.”

It only takes 20 minutes and could save someone’s life. The training can be taken at https://t.co/iEszos0F8J

Join the Facebook Event for updates about the event in Southwater.

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