By the end of today, after you’ve had your dinner and gone to bed, 12 men will have died from suicide.
By the end of tomorrow, after you’ve had your dinner and gone to bed, another 12 men will have died from suicide.
This number will keep rising, and suicide will remain as the biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK.
World Suicide Prevention Day (10 September) is all about the concerted effort to bring that number down as well as women who die by suicide, whether it’s around greater mental health awareness in schools, better understanding around suicide or services that aim to educate and provide support.
In 2016, the Movember Foundation created a breathtaking video fronted by men who have been affected by suicide, that poignantly highlights the importance of prevention in saving a life.
The video features men sharing their own experiences, and one person involved was Justin Geange who was in Australia’s Got Talent.
Geange was made redundant the following year after working with the same company for 20 years, and at the age of 41, felt like a failure.
“To cut a long story short, I reached the point where I believed I was a complete failure and I thought that my family would be better off without me.”
A big focus point on the video is to encourage men to reach out when the going gets tough.
Owen Sharp, Movember Foundation CEO said: “It’s an uncomfortable conversation, but it’s one that needs to be had, here in the UK and around the world.”
“It’s time to break this silence and recognise that a key to overcoming even the biggest problems is for men to talk more. Not about trivial stuff, but about the significant changes and challenges going on in their lives – things like difficulties with work or finances, the breakdown of a relationship, overwhelming family responsibilities or a significant set-back. These things happen regularly and, for some, have the potential to derail or be more overwhelming than they’d imagined.”
Talking to HuffPost UK, Geange said that being open about his own struggles with suicide has definitely helped with people opening up to him.
“Almost weekly men are seeking me out since I started to talk about my experience.
“But the best thing about that is that they are reaching out! While I often don’t have the answers I listen well and can point them in the right direction, which mostly seems to really make a difference! I’m convinced that most people just want to be heard when they are doing it tough.”
Useful websites and helplines:
Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 UK and ROI - this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill.)
Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393.
Get Connected is a free advice service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
HopeLine runs a confidential advice helpline if you are a young person at risk of suicide or are worried about a young person at risk of suicide. Mon-Fri 10-5pm and 7pm-10pm. Weekends 2pm-5pm on 0800 068 41 41.
Maytree is a sanctuary for the suicidal in north London in a non-medical setting. For help or to enquire about a stay, call 020 7263 7070.