Samaritans campaign encourages men to talk

By Lucy Todman | Health | Published:

Samaritans of Shrewsbury is supporting the Real People Real Stories campaign, which aims to encourage men to seek help by sharing the stories of men who have successfully done so.

A survey by Samaritans found that two in five of men in England, Scotland and Wales aged 20-59 do not seek support when they need to, because they prefer to solve their problems themselves.

This group includes men who are most at risk of suicide.

The campaign, supported by National Rail, will include the stories of a number of men who have overcome tough times, to encourage others to seek help by calling Samaritans 24/7 free on 116 123 or visiting

There will be more than 50 local events in England, Wales and Scotland to help promote the campaign. Local Samaritans were at Shrewsbury Railway station yesterday to talk to those in need.

Richard Dunnill, a local Samaritans volunteer said: “We know men can sometimes find it really hard to admit they are having trouble coping and reluctant to seek help, and we want to say that in Shropshire we do our best to make it easy to get in touch with Samaritans and talk to a volunteer. We are here to take calls 24/7 free on 116 123.”

The campaign survey results found that although 78 per cent of men say it’s okay to admit you’re not feeling okay, many still avoid speaking out when they’re finding life tough. A quarter of men felt their problems weren’t important enough to warrant calling a helpline.

Ex-Premier League footballer and professional boxer, Leon McKenzie, who is supporting the campaign, said: “I know how tough it gets when you’re in that dark place. I’ve been there, not wanting to exist anymore. By sharing my story and supporting the campaign, I hope other men understand that you can climb back up with some help. It’s so important to seek help early on and Samaritans are here to listen.”

Find out more at

You can also support by following the campaign @samaritanscharity on Instagram or sharing the video on Twitter @samaritans or Facebook at, using the hashtag #RealPeopleRealStories.

Lucy Todman

By Lucy Todman

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star and Shrewsbury Chronicle based in Shrewsbury.


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