669 North East Men Kill Themselves In Three Years

18 November 2016, 06:00 | Updated: 18 November 2016, 07:49

Four times as many men kill themselves in the North East compared to women, a Heart investigation has found.

Figures we’ve obtained show between 2012 and 2014, 669 men turned to suicide in our region, but there were just 177 women who took their own life in that time.

It means the North East still has the highest rate of suicide in the country, with 13.2 deaths per 100,000 of the population.

Shirley Smith, from Great Lumley, is co-founder of suicide prevention charity IfUCareShare, which was set up after her eldest son, Daniel, took his own life in 2005.

Heart’s investigation also found that of the number of people who access mental health talking therapies in our region, just 41% are men – providing substance to the long-standing theory that men don’t openly discuss how they’re feeling.

Tony, from Newcastle, attempted suicide in June, after hiding his battle with depression for years.

He told Heart, a number of personal problems became too much, and urges other people with similar issues to reach out and get support.

Tony was then put in touch with IfUCareShare, a County Durham charity which supports people who are struggling and others who are bereaved by suicide.

Matthew Smith founded the charity alongside his mum, Shirley, following the loss of his brother Daniel eleven years ago.

He now leads workshops with academy players at Premier League and Football League clubs, to show young men the help is there.

Next week is the fifth anniversary of the death of former Newcastle United footballer Gary Speed, who took his own life - leaving behind a wife and two sons. Former team-mates have given exclusive tributes to Heart – for more click here.

If you’ve been bereaved by suicide or feel you’re struggling and need help, you’re urged to contact IfUCareShare.