Rotherham residents urged to ‘break the silence on suicide’ as part of new mental health campaign

L to r:- Terri Roche, Rotherham Councils director of public health, Dr Richard Cullen, vice-chair of the strategic clinical executive, Dr Julie Kitlowski, chair of the CCG governing body and chair of the strategic clinical executive, and councillor David Roche, cabinet member for health.
L to r:- Terri Roche, Rotherham Councils director of public health, Dr Richard Cullen, vice-chair of the strategic clinical executive, Dr Julie Kitlowski, chair of the CCG governing body and chair of the strategic clinical executive, and councillor David Roche, cabinet member for health.

A man who survived two suicide attempts has backed a new campaign aimed at encouraging people to ‘break the silence on suicide’ and seek help for any mental health problems.

Tom Gray is fully behind the ‘break the silence’ campaign - supported by Rotherham Council, South Yorkshire Police, NHS Rotherham Clinical Commissioning Group and Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust.

It is aimed at encouraging people with mental health problems to seek help. Likewise anyone who spots someone who may be struggling is urged to raise the alarm with the authorities.

Mr Gray, who now volunteers for the Samaritans, said: “I hope the campaign will help to stop people going through what I went through.

“If I had known that help was out there, I may have got help sooner and not taken the action I did.

“It is vitally important that those who are struggling with their mental health know that it is okay to talk and that they are not alone. Seeking help is the most difficult but important step, so hopefully this campaign will reach out to those who are in need.”

The campaign was launched in the lead up to World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10, which this year had a theme of ‘connect, communicate, care’.

Councillor David Roche, cabinet member for public health, said: “We want to stop suicide being a taboo subject and encourage people to talk about it and get help.”

If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health contact the Samaritans on 116 123 or call the Rotherham Crisis helpline on 01709 302670.