IT’s believed by many that cases of suicide peak around the festive period of Christmas and New Year.
There were 5,583 suicides registered in England and Wales, around three-quarters of which were men.
There are those in need of help in the month of December certainly, but there are also those in need in March and in June and September too and some of these people will live here, in Teignbridge.
Fortunately help also knows no bounds.
Andy’s Man Club is a men’s suicide prevention charity, offering free to attend peer-to-peer support groups across the United Kingdom, one of which meets in Newton Abbot.
‘Andy’s Man Club is a safe space for anyone to come along and feel solidarity and get stuff off their chest, stuff that is really biting or in things that have happened in the past’ Chris Martin, Lead Facilitator at the Newton Abbot club, said.
‘This year with the cost of living, we have certainly seen a lot of anxiety around how people are going to survive not just necessarily getting from week to week - it is a difficult time definitely.’
Each and every Monday, aside from Bank Holidays, the group meets at Newton Abbot Rugby Club at 7pm.
‘There is no cost to it, there is no need to book or anything like that, you can literally just rock up on the night and see what it is about which is sometimes the hardest thing to do
‘What have you got to lose by trying?’ Chris said.
It is important to mention that, in spite of discussions on the topic often gravitating around men and suicide, suicide among women, of course, exists.
Of the 5,583 suicides registered in England and Wales in 2021, 1,454 were female, with those aged 45 to 49 years having the highest age-specific suicide rate at 7.8 per 100,000.
Females aged 24 years or under have seen the largest increase in the suicide rate since the Office of National Statistics’ time series began in 1981 - a disturbing trend to be sure.
But fortunately Newton Abbot is home to a support group for women.
Women’s Wellbeing Clubs are peer support groups run by volunteers at local venues across the country; the Newton Abbot group meet at the Salvation Army Community Centre on Tuesday’s from 7pm to 9pm and offers women a confidential space to talk, have a cup, or two, of tea and receive and give support.