NFRC backs Samaritans’ campaign on mental health

Samaritans’ campaign Real People, Real Stories aims to reach men who are struggling to cope to prevent them from reaching crisis point
Samaritans’ campaign Real People, Real Stories aims to reach men who are struggling to cope to prevent them from reaching crisis point

The NFRC is backing a new campaign from Samaritans called ‘Real People, Real Stories,’ which uses real life stories to reach out to men who are struggling to cope with their mental health, and to encourage them to seek help.

As part of the campaign, Samaritans is sharing new research of the impact of lockdown measures on the mental health of working-age (18-59) men, which showed that two in five (42%) men felt that the COVID-19 restrictions have had a negative impact on their mental health.

Almost half (47%) of respondents had felt feelings of anxiety (47%), a similar number experienced loneliness and/or isolation (42%), and just over a third (34%) said lockdown put a strain on their relationships.

However, 40% of respondents said that talking to others helped with the concerns and worries they had during lockdown, showing the importance of seeking help and getting support when they needed it.

Real People, Real Stories runs from 11 August until 27 September, and aims to reach men aged 18-59 years and above who are feeling low and struggling to cope.

Men who have found life tough and experienced depression or suicidal thoughts have written words of support to other men and these will feature in films, shared across social media, radio, buses and TV. You can also support by following the campaign @samaritanscharity on Instagram, @samaritans on Twitter or on Facebook, using the hashtag #RealPeopleRealStories.

Bob Richardson, head of technical at the NFRC, said: “We strongly welcome Samaritans’ Real People, Real Stories campaign. This new research paints a troubling picture of the affect that lockdown has had on the mental health of working-age men, such as loneliness, anxiety, and financial worries. Samaritans want to use this campaign to reach anyone who is struggling during this pandemic, to prevent them from reaching crisis point, and show the importance of seeking help.”

Bob continued: “Sadly, suicide is still one of the biggest killers in construction, taking on average two lives a day, with roofing being one of the occupations with the highest risk – almost three times more than the average. That is why the NFRC is working with the Samaritans to explore different ways of supporting tradesmen in construction who may be struggling and welcome this initiative.

“This campaign offers a positive alternative, by showing real life stories of men who have sought help and overcome tough times. If you know someone who is finding things difficult at the moment, then encourage them to seek help. Anyone can call the Samaritans for free on 116 123, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, or visit www.Samaritans.org to explore their self-help tools and information.”