Break My Stride Matthew Wilder
21 June 2016, 10:48
"Don't Flush Your Life Away" campaign to help men with suicidal thoughts
A poster campaign has been developed by a team of partners, including Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CFT), Cornwall Council, St Austell Brewery, and the Samaritans, to encourage men with suicidal thoughts to seek help.
Between 60 and 70 people in Cornwall take their lives each year, with men, especially those of working age, being three times more likely to die by suicide.
A recent inquiry published by the University of Manchester suggests that since 2013 the rate of suicide in men aged 45 to 54 has risen by 37% and by 29% in men aged 55 to 64.
Suicide in men is often blamed on a reluctance to ask for help, with risk factors including a misuse of alcohol and economic pressures.
It is hoped that the poster campaign will encourage men in Cornwall to take the first steps in getting help.
Posters will be displayed in pub toilets, GP surgeries and other public areas, and the slogans have been designed by members of the public.
Dr Rohit Shankar, a psychiatrist for CFT says "There is a lot of talk of mental health problems in the public, however there is a failure to recognise it in our nearest and dearest, especially middle aged men, who are at the highest risk of suicide in the UK.
"This is mainly because they are often less aware of it creeping onto them".
Dr Sara Roberts a Consultant in Public Health for Cornwall Council says the suicide rate in the county is high "Statistics tell us that the suicide rate in Cornwall and Isles of Scilly is consistently higher than the national average and highest rates of suicide are seen among middle-aged men.
"This campaign is trying to show that it is alright to admit when times are difficult.
"Talking can be the first step in finding a solution to problems or feelings that may have seemed impossible to resolve".
St Austell Brewery are displaying the posters in their pubs across Cornwall.
For help and advice visit the Samaritans