Nigel Owens MBE helps Samaritans Cymru launch new report for World Mental Health Day 2016

Samaritans Cymru are launching their 2015/16 Impact Report for World Mental Health Day today with the support of Nigel Owens MBE.

The report will demonstrate how Samaritans Cymru helps people who are struggling to cope in Wales, from reaching out to high-risk groups and communities to their partnerships with prisons, schools, hospitals and rail staff. This is alongside their ongoing engagement with Welsh Government and the National Assembly to influence policy and legislation surrounding suicide prevention in Wales. Health Secretary Vaughan Gething, who will be making the opening remarks at the launch event today said:

“I’d like to thank the Samaritans for their excellent and long standing work, particularly around suicide prevention.”

“We take the issue of mental health and well-being extremely seriously. Our strategy ‘Together for Mental Health’ is designed to improve the mental well-being of all people in Wales. We want to ensure anyone who needs to access high quality, mental health services can do so and that they are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.”

Samaritans Cymru are using the release of their report for World Mental Health Day 2016 to emphasise the importance of men talking about their emotional and mental health. Samaritans Cymru have previously expressed their concern with the latest ONS statistics which reveal 81% of all suicides in Wales in 2014 were men.

Speaking in support for the Samaritans Cymru Impact Report today, Nigel Owens MBE said:

“I’m proud to be supporting the Samaritans Cymru 2015/16 Impact Report for World Mental Health Day.  With suicide rates for men being the highest since 1981 in Wales, I am right behind their aim of emphasising the importance of men talking about their emotional and mental health. Samaritans are there for those who are struggling to cope round the clock - we must try and support each other in our communities in the same way, by chatting to each other about how we are feeling and when we need some help.

In the past, when I was suffering with mental health issues surrounding me dealing with my sexuality, I wish I had of been more aware of charities like Samaritans who are always there to help. If I had, perhaps I wouldn’t have ended up in such a dark place and so close to losing my life”

In Wales, Samaritans has nine branches which manage their emotional support service. They are there to support those who are struggling to cope round the clock, every day of the year. The demand for the Samaritans service is ever increasing – in 2015, they took a call every three minutes in Wales and received 175,767 calls for help.

Ahead of the launch event today, Sarah Stone, Executive Director for Samaritans in Wales said:

“Suicide is now the single biggest killer of men aged under 45 in the UK. In Wales the rate is at its highest since 1981 with 81% of all suicides in Wales in 2014 being men. We need to get better at tackling the social issues men in Wales face. We need to open up a dialogue in which men feel more able to talk about mental health and suicidal feelings and we especially need to target men in mid-life living in situations of deprivation.

We are delighted to launch our Impact Report for World Mental Health Day 2016 with the help of Nigel Owens MBE and Vaughan Gething AM, Cabinet Secretary for Health, Well-being and Sport.  We are committed to reaching as many people as possible to are struggling to cope in Wales and our report demonstrates how we do this”

Notes to Editors:

  • Samaritans is available round the clock, every single day of the year, to listen and offer confidential support when things are getting to you. Please call 116 123 (this number is FREE and will not show up on your phone bill) or call the Welsh Language Line on 0808 164 0123 (This number is free to call and open from 7pm - 11pm 7 days a week) You can also email jo@samaritans.org, or visit www.samaritans.org to find details of your nearest branch.
  • For further information, or to request an interview, please contact Emma Harris, Policy and Communications Officer on e.harris@samaritans.org or 029 2022 2008 / 07984579050