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Release the Pressure suicide prevention campaign launched by Kent County Council

A countywide initiative to reduce the number of suicides in middle-aged men launches this week.

Release the Pressure is a social marketing campaign sparked following a large rise in the number of deaths over recent years.

Suicide is the leading killer of men under 45 in Kent and figures show that during 2014, there were 163 suicides, of which 128 of those were men.

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Research shows that men are less likely to ask for help from friends, family or mental health services than women. Stock picture
Research shows that men are less likely to ask for help from friends, family or mental health services than women. Stock picture

As well as being above the national average, the figures are particularly worrying as a large percentage of those who took their own life were not known to secondary mental health services.

Public health bosses warn men are less likely to ask for help from friends and family and lack of contact with mental health services make them a difficult group to reach.

'Our campaign hopes to get men talking about the problems they are facing rather than suffering in silence'

Andrew Scott-Clark, KCC's director of public health, said: "Sometimes life can be really tough. A bereavement or relationship ending or increasing debt can all cause unbearable pressure in people.

"We know that the majority of people who take their own lives aren't known to mental health services so we are encouraging anyone who's feeling the pressure to talk to someone."

The campaign also asks friends and family members to look out for signs of depression in men they know.

Graham Gibbens, cabinet member for adult social care and public health, added: "Suicide is a terrible tragedy for the person's family and the whole community.

Help is available at www.realeasethepressure.uk
Help is available at www.realeasethepressure.uk

"Unfortunately it still accounts for 1% of all deaths in the county every year and our campaign hopes to get men talking about the problems they are facing rather than suffering in silence."

The campaign includes a special two-hour programme on kmfm in April.

If you know someone who's feeling the pressure, get them to call 0800 107 0160 or visit www.releasethepressure.uk

Support is free and confidential, provided by an independent charity and funded by Kent County Council.


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