World Mental Health Day: Samaritans here to help at Stevenage and Hitchin stations

PUBLISHED: 10:36 10 October 2019 | UPDATED: 11:48 10 October 2019

Samaritans of North Herts and Stevenage are talking to commuters today about its Real People, Real Stories campaign. Picture: Samaritans

Samaritans of North Herts and Stevenage are talking to commuters today about its Real People, Real Stories campaign. Picture: Samaritans

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Samaritans from North Herts and Stevenage are on hand at Hitchin and Stevenage railway stations today to offer help to commuters as part of World Mental Health Day.

Samaritans of North Herts and Stevenage are talking to commuters today about its Real People, Real Stories campaign. Picture: SamaritansSamaritans of North Herts and Stevenage are talking to commuters today about its Real People, Real Stories campaign. Picture: Samaritans

Volunteers from the charity are out and about at stations across the country raising awareness for this year's theme - suicide prevention - as well as offering emotional support to those who needed it.

The charity is currently promoting its Real People, Real Stories campaign, supported by Network Rail, which encourages men to share their personal stories in a bid to break the stigma surrounding mental health among men.

A recent survey by Samaritans found that two in five men in England, Scotland and Wales aged 20-59 do not seek support when they need to, preferring to solve problems themselves - and this group has the highest rates of suicide.

A quarter of men felt their problems weren't important enough to warrant calling a helpline, and almost three in 10 men (29 per cent) said loneliness and isolation makes them feel low.

Samaritans branch director Gill McLearnon said: "This year's theme for World Mental Health Day is suicide prevention, but preventing suicide and the support available should be talked about every day.

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"Suicide is preventable and is everyone's business, so raising awareness of this important issue will hopefully encourage people to help others in distress.

"We know men can sometimes find it really hard to admit they are having trouble coping and are reluctant to seek help. We want to say that at our branch we do our best to make it easy to get in touch with Samaritans and talk to a volunteer."

Samaritans began working with Network Rail in 2010, with the aim of preventing rail suicides and supporting those affected by tragedies.

In that time, the charity have trained over 19,000 rail staff through suicide prevention and support courses - and have made more than 800 reported life-saving interventions.

Samaritans are expected to host around 100 nationwide events today to promote their Real People, Real Stories campaign.

To find out more, go online at: www.samaritans.org/realpeoplerealstories.

If you are feeling low, or struggling to cope, call the Samaritans' 24/7 free helpline on 116 123.

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