Samaritans mark World Suicide Prevention Day with #ITSOKAYTOTALK message.
The Samaritans of Pendle, Burnley, Craven & Rossendale are teaming up with Andy’s Man Club to encourage people to reach out for help and support when life feels overwhelming
On World Suicide Prevention Day today, (Sept 10), local Samaritans are backing a big push to reduce deaths by suicide, by telling men in particular that ‘It’s okay to talk’.
The theme of this year’s World Suicide Prevention Day is ‘connect, communicate, care’ and statistics show men are three times more likely to take their own lives than women. Suicide is also the biggest killer of men under 50 in the UK.
Backing for the message to open up comes after an online campaign using the hashtag #ITSOKAYTOTALK reached millions of people globally last month. TV stars, sportsmen, comedians and public figures all over the world shared pictures of themselves making an OK sign with their hands, and challenging friends and others online to do the same.
Now, the creator of the campaign and founder of the Andy’s Man Club support movement, Halifax rugby player Luke Ambler, is working with Samaritans to push the message out well beyond the internet, after losing his brother-in-law to suicide earlier this year.
Luke said: “We didn’t know anything was wrong and then he took his own life. I don’t want anyone to go through what we continue to go through, so we’re delighted to be working with Samaritans to get the message out that ‘It’s okay to talk’, to as many men as possible. If you’re struggling to cope, even if you think nobody will understand, take that first step, talk to someone, ring Samaritans, go and see a friend, speak to your GP. Your life matters.”
Samaritans volunteers will be out and about in the community encouraging men and women to take better care of themselves, and to ask for help if they feel overwhelmed. They’ll also be continuing to promote the #ITSOKAYTOTALK message through social media.
Director of the Samaritans of Pendle, Burnley, Craven & Rossendale Ian Hartley said: “The success of “#ITSOKAYTOTALK” online shows that suicide affects everybody. Suicide prevention is everyone’s business. We need to make it easier for people to recognise when they need to get help, and to understand the kind of support that is available. As Samaritans, we’re there in complete confidence for anyone who needs to talk through difficult thoughts or feelings, in their own time and in their own way. We’re proud to be backing this campaign. Together we can save lives.”
Find out more about the #ITSOKAYTOTALK campaign and how Samaritans is joining up with Andy’s Man Club and other charities and bodies working to reduce suicide on the National Suicide Prevention Alliance (NSPA) website here: www.nspa.org.uk/wspd.
Anyone can contact Samaritans, you don't have to be suicidal. You can call us for free anytime from any phone on 116 123, email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.samaritans.org to find details of your nearest branch where you can talk to one of our volunteers in person.