Telford event helps launch male suicide-prevention drive
The high rates of male suicide were highlighted with 84 men taking an 84-second silence in Telford's Southwater Square.
Crowds gathered near Telford Shopping Centre to help encourage men to talk more about their problems.
The event was organised by Telford & Wrekin Council and a local campaigner whose partner took their own life, to mark World Suicide Prevention Day today, where communities across the world come together to raise the issue.
Councillor Raj Mehta, cabinet member for communities and inclusivity, said: “Shockingly, 84 men take their lives each week in the UK, and men are three times more likely to take their own lives than women.
“That’s why we want more men to talk about and end the stigma around male suicide - it's okay for men to not be okay.
“It’s good for people to talk when you are having thoughts of suicide weather that’s to someone you know or to a confidential support service, you are not alone, people are here to help.”
The Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin’s Suicide Prevention Network was at the event handing out new concertina “Zcards” that offer advice and support to those suffering from suicidal thoughts.
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.
Councillor Mehta said: “We hope the new Zcards provide the opportunity to raise awareness that there is support out there and encourage those affected by suicide, to come forward.
“I'd like to give a big thank you to all of the 84 men and all the agencies and partners that supported this event. 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.
Money was also raised at the event for a sponsored bike ride by Councillor Lee Carter and Councillor Dave Wright to help raise money for CALM, the Campaign Against Living Miserably.
Help and advice for those having a mental health crisis is available from a number of agencies in Shropshire.
Samaritans - 116 123 or samaritans.org
Shropshire Mind - 01743 368647 or shropshiremind.org
Telford Mind - 07434 869248 or telford-mind.co.uk
Access Service for Adult Mental Health - 03001 240365
Every Mind Matters - nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters