Press release: Wales Minister for Health and Social Services backs Samaritans' campaign

Minister for Health and Social Services in Wales, Lesley Griffiths AM came out in support of Samaritans’ We’re in Your Corner Campaign this week, reaching out to men from disadvantaged backgrounds in their 30s, 40s and 50s who are at higher risk of suicide.

As part of the campaign, Samaritans has published a report Men and Suicide: Why it’s a social issue which explores the reasons for suicide in this group of men, beyond mental health issues and calls for suicide to be addressed as a health and social inequality.

This week, a range of frontline agencies supporting this group of men met with Samaritans and academics to discuss the findings of the research and the implications for policy and practice in Wales.

Throwing her weight behind the campaign, the Minister said:

“I am pleased to be able to highlight the groundbreaking research into male suicide in Wales profiled by Samaritans in Men, Suicide and Society.

“The publication of this report can only strengthen the evidence base and provide the Welsh Government with a better understanding of the issues affecting male suicide.

“It makes very helpful recommendations, which will help us work towards our aim of reducing suicide in Wales.”

The We’re in Your Corner campaign is part of a five year partnership with Network Rail to reduce suicides on the railways. It will include posters and other initiatives across the rail network aimed at reaching out to this group, encouraging them to seek help and consider calling Samaritans.

Jonathan Scourfield, Professor of Social Work at Cardiff University, said: “It has been recently recognised that men in mid-life can no longer be ignored as a group at high risk of suicide. However, this report shows that it is men from low socio-economic backgrounds who desperately need help.

“Men are often criticised for being reluctant to talk about their problems and for not seeking help. With this in mind, we need to acknowledge that men and women are not necessarily the same and design services to meet their needs, so they can be more effective.

“The role of mental health problems in suicide is well-established and must not be ignored. But we also need to look at the economic and social inequalities that contribute to people wanting to take their own lives. Policy-makers and practitioners need to take forward our recommendations from the report as a matter of urgency.”

– ENDS –

To access the report please follow this link: Men and Suicide: Why it’s a social issue
 
For further information about the report, to set up interviews or case studies, please contact Samaritans’ press office on 020 8394 8300 or email press@samaritans.org

Notes to editors:

  • Samaritans’ vision is that fewer people die by suicide. People contact Samaritans when they are struggling to cope and need someone to talk to. More than 20,000 Samaritans’ volunteers are available round the clock, every day of the year. The helpline provides a safe place to talk and all conversations are private.
  • To contact Samaritans call 08457 90 90 90, email jo@samaritans.org, or visit www.samaritans.org to find your nearest branch.