It’s a fact that Teesside has some of the highest suicide rates in the country. To help tackle this worrying statistic, a £2,500 grant from the Philanthropic Foundation is helping Men Tell Health set up a men-only peer support network where males can share their problems.
It’s good to talk, or so the saying goes – but the simple truth is that too many men keep all their worries and issues bottled up inside. Whether it’s money, work, family or relationships that’s on their mind, too many keep it all in.
Sadly, Middlesbrough, Stockton and Redcar & Cleveland hold the unwelcome record of having the three highest rates of suicide in the country.
Most people who take their own life – about 75% – aren’t known to mental health services.
So it’s good to know that groups like The Men Tell CIC are out there offering a helping hand, a listening ear and are actively promoting, not suppressing, dialogue.
With the help of the Foundation’s grant, they plan to address the issue via a year-long project offering men the chance to get any problems they are having off their chest.
These will not be the quintessential, stereotypical ‘support group’, with chairs in a circle and everyone staring at their shoes.
Instead, they will offer groups in environments where 21st Century men can open up. They’ll utilise cafes, coffee shops and even pubs to bring together a supportive group that gives men every opportunity to share or even just to talk in a group they know will not judge or stigmatise them.
Whether you want to talk about mental health or the Boro match, groups will support and respect those who want to share or not. At the very least, they’ll provide a voice to those who may, for whatever reason, not have the opportunities to talk with their own peers.
Men Tell Health want to get people talking about the things that bother them, whether that’s work, money, family or friends, to create kinship but also to signpost them to organisations who may be able to help. There are plenty out there but aren’t being accessed.
More than anything they want to address the rising suicide rates (especially in men).
They’re launching groups in Stockton, Middlesbrough and Redcar.