* Newsflash *
The numbers of suicides on Merseyside among young men has fallen by a massive 55% over the past 10 years, bringing it below the average for young men in the North West and the rest of England & Wales, according to newly published figures by the Office of National Statistics (ONS). CALM, the region’s dedicated campaign targeting young men, has welcomed the news as a sign that its innovative and award-winning work is making a real difference amongst this traditionally “hard-to-reach” group and is literally saving lives.
Commenting on the ONS figures for young men aged 15-34, Simon Howes Development Coordinator of CALM on Merseyside said: “The figures released by the ONS are great news and prove that young male suicide isn’t inevitable and can be prevented. The simple truth is that on average, three young men take their own life everyday in the UK. CALM was established to help men get things off their chest by promoting a helpline and website that is credible and which they can trust when they are ready to sort their head out. We believe our work has helped to bring these numbers down and change the pressures and expectations that are often placed on our regions 190,000 young men for the better.”
The ONS figures show an ongoing downward trend with a drop from a peak of 48 young male suicides in 2000 to 19 in 2009. Driven by the presence of CALM – which celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2010 and is the number one option for helpline support among local young men, according to a recent survey – Merseyside has made more progress on reducing these statistics than most other areas of the country.
Simon adds: “Whilst the numbers of young men who feel they have no other option but to take their own life has halved on Merseyside, there is still a lot of work to be done in reducing the number further. CALM is committed to Merseyside and the City Region and we are developing other CALM Zones, to engage with more men in the hope of seeing similar reductions across the country.”
Dr. Sandra Davies, Associate Director of Public Health for Liverpool PCT said: “These figures are fantastic news, and its also really encouraging that we are making so much progress locally. CALM is a trailblazing campaign which leads the way in how taboo issues such as suicide are addressed, working to point young men towards the help they need, when they feel they need it.”
The Merseyside CALMzone continues to go from strength to strength working with many of the major lifestyle brands, events and local icons in the region to promote positive mental health amongst the young men in the region.