By Lyn Stepanian
At the weekend 84 men gathered in Southwater Square during an 84 second silence, in an effort to raise awareness of the number of men who take their lives each week in the UK.
Men are three times more likely to take their own lives than women, so it is a significant issue.
That’s why we want more men to talk about and end the stigma around male suicide – its okay for men to not be okay.
It’s good for people to talk when you are having thoughts of suicide weather that’s to someone you know or to a confidential support service, you are not alone, people are here to help.
Our new “Zcards” that we helped develop as part of the Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin’s Suicide Prevention Network were being handed out at the event.
These cards show the support that is available and offer advice to those suffering from suicidal thoughts.
The cards provide discrete support and advice on who to contact for anyone experiencing suicidal thoughts or someone who is concerned about someone else.
I hope these cards, which we will soon be distributing across the region will encourage those affected by suicide, to come forward.
The event was organised by Telford and Wrekin Council and a local campaigner whose partner took their own life to mark World Suicide Prevention Day.
Stands were open in Southwater during the day for people to learn more about support available locally and nationally, and offered advice on how to talk to people experiencing suicidal thoughts.
Suicide is preventable, all of us can do something about it, and a short conversation is sometimes all it takes to save a person’s life.
One of the best ways to learn about how an individual can do this is to undertake the 20 minute suicide prevention training provided by the Zero Suicide Alliance.
People can undertake the training at zerosuicidealliance.com.
Money was also raised at the event for a sponsored bike ride by Cllr Lee Carter and Cllr Dave Wright to help raise money for CALM, the Campaign Against Living Miserably. If you can please contribute to this good cause through their Just Giving page.
Finally, I would like to say a big thank you to all the agencies and partners that supported, especially the 84 men who volunteered to part of our photo.