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Samaritans launch new phase of Real People, Real Stories

The Samaritans, the country’s leading suicide prevention charity, are today launching a new phase of their campaign Real People, Real stories which is specifically targeted at men in rural communities, like Highland Perthshire, who are struggling to cope, in order to prevent them reaching crisis point.

Samaritans conducted research, which showed that 43 per cent of men in rural areas of the UK indicated they would reach out for assistance in difficult times compared to 51 per cent in urban areas.

David is a volunteer for the Samaritans, and is based on the Knoydart Peninsula, on the West Coast of Scotland, he explains that he often doesn’t have much contact because of the rural nature of the peninsula: “I was thinking the other day, I didn’t see anybody for the whole day, and I didn’t get a phone call or anything. So, I didn’t speak to anybody for the whole day.”

Rachel Cackett is the Executive Director of Samaritans Scotland’s, and she explains what Real People, Real Stories is all about: “Real People, Real stories is aimed particularly at sharing stories of hope, by men for men.”

“We’ve found for some time that not only are men more likely to take their own lives, about just over 70 per cent of those who take their own life in Scotland are men, but also, we know that men are less likely to reach out.”

“So, we have for some time looked at this campaign Real People, Real Stories, focused on sharing stories of hope from men who have had struggles and sharing how their attempts to reach out have helped them overcome those struggles, and today we are launching a new phase of that campaign which is specifically focused on men in rural areas.”

Samaritans are supported on their campaign Real People, Real Stories by the Scottish Government and the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust, and Perthshire-based farmer and Chair of NFU Mutual Jim McLaren MBE, shares his views: “It is vital that we encourage farmers and men in particular to seek help if they require it. The mental health of men in rural communities is something that’s seldom spoken about, but that doesn’t mean to say that it’s not a huge issue. Farmers and rural workers are very often working alone.”

More information about the Real People, Real Stories campaign and the stories that are part of the campaign, can be found at https://www.samaritans.org/scotland/support-us/campaign/real-people-real-stories/

For anyone looking for help from the Samaritans can visit https://www.samaritans.org/scotland/how-we-can-help/

 Or call them 24/7 any day of the year on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org

Hear from Samaritans Volunteer David and Perthshire-based Farmer and NFU Mutual Chair Jim McLaren MBE.

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