Newsnight, men and suicide

 

 
Clare Wyllie, Head of Policy and Research, talked about Samaritans’ recently published research: Men and Suicide – Why it’s a social issue
 
This interview followed a film that includes Kevin Shepherd, who was on the point of taking his own life before he decided to call Samaritans. Kevin, bereaved families and the others also feature in a discussion about the issues raised, which include the vulnerability of middle-aged men from deprived backgrounds and the recent ONS statistics. 
 
Clare was interviewed alongside the Minister of State for Care and Support, Norman Lamb MP about the findings of the recent All-Party Parliamentary Group Inquiry that called for the establishment of compulsory local suicide prevention strategies.
 
Catherine Johnstone, our Chief Executive, said:
 
“The number of suicides among middle aged men from deprived backgrounds continues to be a real cause of concern for us and I’m very pleased that we were able to raise the issue on such an important news programme.
 
"Clare was able to highlight the work of our branches in reaching out to these men, which our research has identified as being at higher risk and was able to remind the Minister of their needs and the crucial role that Samaritans plays in supporting them. 
 
"The Minister expressed “profound interest” in this area of work and we’re delighted that he agreed there needs to be change to make sure more councils’ need to have local suicide prevention plans."
 
"I was also greatly impressed by Kevin Shepherd, who made a very powerful and moving contribution to the Newsnight film, and who went out of his way to explain how Samaritans had been there for him when he was at the point of taking his own life.
 
“I have already heard from many people who saw the programme and would urge anyone who didn’t catch it to access the link below. Thanks to Newsnight for raising the profile of this important issue."
 
Watch it here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01r3vq8/Newsnight_05_03_2013/ (our section is on from 17 minutes in).
 
If you're affected by any of the material in the programme, remember you can always call Samaritans, any time of the day or night.