There are quite likely to be valuable lessons here for Australia, even though it was trialled in Scotland. Male suicide is also a serious problem in Australia:
It’s a dark January afternoon in Penicuik, Midlothian, and George arrives at the town hall. If he didn’t have a place like this nearby, where he can go to talk to someone when he’s feeling like he can’t carry on, he wonders if he would be here today. George is 54 and regularly attends the Men’s Suicide, Harm, Awareness, Recovery and Empathy (Share) project, set up in 2009. The project provides group and one-to-one support, as well as financial and practical advice, and activities like cards and football. “It’s somewhere I feel safe just talking things out”, says George, who has made several suicide attempts since he was made homeless three years ago. “I’m in that grey area. If I’m feeling really low, I don’t want to call a helpline and talk to someone I don’t know, but I don’t want to go to the doctor and be given medication either. Here, I know everyone – and I know that everyone understands.”
Share is open seven days a week. “From the moment someone comes through the door,” says the project coordinator, John Murphy, “we give them a platform to be heard in a way they think matters, offering social and emotional support. By considering practical solutions we are able to deflect away from the ‘perfect storm’ – where emotional distresses cross with circumstances to create an environment where suicide becomes an option.”
Everyone who ever feels like I do needs somewhere like this
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This article excerpt was sourced from the website The Guardian Society (summary only) and the original article can be found at Sharing the pain: how Scotland cut male suicide rates | Eleanor Tucker.