Men urged 'it's okay to talk' after worrying suicide rate figures

AFTER worrying figures into the number of suicides by men in St Helens, the Healthy Living Team will be on hand in the town centre this weekend to reassure men that ‘It’s Okay to Talk.’

Ahead of World Suicide Prevention Day on Sunday, September 10, the council is seeking to help residents in the borough after figures show that out of 72 cases of suicide or undetermined injury between 2014 and 2016 – 85 per cent of those deaths involved men.

Undetermined deaths are when the authorities do not have the evidence to say clearly whether it is a deliberate case of self harm or an accident.

A stall will be set out in Church Square alongside other council services and partner organisations on Saturday, September 9 to offer their services, advice and support aimed at improving people’s health and wellbeing.

It will be opened by the mayor and mayoress of St Helens at 2.30pm, and coincides with the annual town centre classic car show, which will mark the start of a months’ worth of activities leading up to World Mental Health Day on Tuesday, October 10.

Cllr Gill Neal, cabinet member for public health and wellbeing, said: “In St Helens between 2014 and 2016, 85 per cent of deaths by suicide and undetermined injury involved men.

“Reaching out to people who are going through a difficult time or have become disconnected from others can be a game changer.

“That’s why we’re reinforcing the message that ‘It’s Okay to Talk’ – because talking about any hidden anxieties can make all the difference to achieving a healthier state of mind.

“With male footfall in the town centre likely to be high that day as a result of the classic car show, I’d strongly encourage a visit to our marquee where men are open to chat to our dedicated team about any issues they may have.”

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