Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 35. In the UK,
there is one death by suicide every two hours and 75% of those are
men. Locally, the North East has one of the highest rates of
suicide in men.
To raise awareness of the suicide risk amongst men and to
encourage help-seeking behaviours, County Durham and Darlington NHS
Foundation Trust's Health Improvement Service is launching the
'Pass it On' campaign.
This taboo subject is rarely discussed and men
stereotypically do not ask for help or share their problems. The
aims of the Pass It On campaign are to challenge the male
stereotype that it is a sign of weakness to seek help or talk about
feelings, and to promote positive coping strategies for difficult
periods in life.
Lee Mack, Associate Director for Health and Wellbeing at
County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust said: "Men often
don't know where to turn to for help; they may not be aware that
there are many organisations offering advice and support. Men
stereotypically do not ask for help or share their problems. There
is a trend locally for men to have financial and relationship
problems and to use alcohol as a coping mechanism and suicide as a
way out. Other people may not take these problems seriously and
that further isolates men at risk of suicide.
"We hope that people from our local communities, employers
and sports clubs will support the public mental health improvement
team to cascade the Pass It On message to men in our
Already the 'Pass it On' campaign has received support
from over 100 local agencies or organisations following a launch
event last month.
Lee explains: "We want to recruit people from all walks of
life to become Pass It On champions who will spread the message in
the spirit of Pass It On. Pass It On champions recruited from local
communities, employers and sports clubs will support the public
mental health improvement team to cascade the Pass It On message to
men in Darlington and East Durham. Pass It On Champions
simply need to Pass It On; there is no expectation of providing
support for individuals or a huge time commitment. We can all Pass
It On as part of daily life."
The team has produced a range of supporting literature for
the campaign to raise awareness and signpost people to advice and
If you would like to find out more about the campaign or
how the public mental health improvement team can support you or
your organisation to Pass It On please contact Marnie Ramsey,
public mental health improvement specialist on 01207 523658
. Or visit: www.health-improvement.cdd.nhs.uk
Published: 6 February 2012
'I would like to thank all the staff for my treatment and their
Patient, Cardiology Department, Bishop Auckland Hospital