Statistics show that 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.
Humberside Police and Crime and Crime Commissioner Keith Hunter joined celebrities such as Ricky Gervais, Ainsley Harriet and rugby star Jonathan Davies in tweeting his support.
Now, the creator of the campaign and founder of the Andy’s Man Club support movement, Yorkshire 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 Ambler 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 across the UK and Ireland 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.”
Esther Allinson is Hull Samaritans Director and she 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 are 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.”
Please tweet your photos using the #itsokaytotalk and reference @hullsamaritans so we can RT. In addition we are talking about the campaign on KCFM News on the hour on Saturday.