NHS Trust puts its weight behind ‘Men on the ropes’ campaign


The local provider of specialist NHS mental health services is supporting the Samaritans’ ‘Men on the ropes’ campaign that aims to reduce the number of male suicides by getting men talking about their feelings

The South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which provides specialist mental health services to the people of Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield, is backing the five-year drive that aims to get men to consider that calling Samaritans’ 24/7 confidential helpline could be an option for them rather than bottling up their feelings.

According to new research around 6,000 people in the UK take their own lives every year and three-quarters of them are men. Of these, the men most likely to die by suicide are those aged 25-55.

The new research also found that men from poorer backgrounds, those who are unemployed or in manual jobs, and those who have experienced difficult times such as financial worries or breakdowns in their family relationships are more likely to take their own lives.

Network Rail has funded the development of the campaign and will be supporting it by providing advertising space in stations across Great Britain with the aim of reducing suicides on the railways by 20%.

As part of the campaign the Samaritans are encouraging men to open up about their feelings to anyone – whether it be a member of their family, friends, colleagues, health professionals or Samaritans. Their message is talking to someone is better than bottling things up.

Steven Michael, Trust chief executive said, "1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health problem at some time and around 1 in 10 of us experience depression in any year, but it is a problem that is often overlooked and misunderstood. People can feel down for a short time, but sometimes low moods can last longer and can be hard to shake off. In these cases it can be increasingly difficult to cope with daily life and it is very important that people seek help.

“We are wholeheartedly behind this campaign and want to support the Samaritans to tackle the stigma attached to depression and mental health and ensure that people worried about their mental wellbeing feel able to seek the help they need. We want people to realise that mental health problems are very common and that people need help to recover from mental health problems such as depression, just as they would from any other serious illness, and that help is available. Anyone who is concerned about their own or somebody else’s mental wellbeing should contact their GP.”

Earlier this year, the Trust launched its own ‘Help us stop stigma in 2010’ poster campaign. A series of nine posters have been distributed across the area and local communities are encouraged to display posters in shops, places of worship, community settings or anywhere else they feel is appropriate in a bid to tackle the stigma that is associated with mental health problems. Posters can be obtained, free of charge, by calling 01924 327567 or emailing comms@swyt.nhs.uk

NHS Trust puts its weight behind ‘Men on the ropes’ campaign

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