Calls to mental health helpline hit 10,000 as men urged to Release the Pressure

PUBLISHED: 10:40 10 October 2016 | UPDATED: 10:40 10 October 2016

Mental health

Mental health


The line receives an average of 484 male calls a month - a significant 56 per cent increase on the same period last year

Calls to a mental health helpline in Kent have surpassed the 10,000 mark just months after it was launched.

Kent County Council has revealed its helpline, run by Mental Health Matters (MHM), has answered some 10,583 calls, of which 3,385 were men.

It comes as part of a drive to get men in particular to talk about issues affecting their mental health.

The line receives an average of 484 male calls a month - a significant 56 per cent increase on the same period last year.

Figures show suicide is the leading killer of men under 45 and in Kent last year, there were 151 registered cases of people taking their own lives, with 116 of those being men.

The council’s Release the Pressure campaign urges people to seek help by calling 0800 107 0160 where support is available from trained and experienced Mental Health Matters staff on a freephone number, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

They will put them in touch with Kent services to help them deal with mental health issues, relationship and bereavement counselling, financial advice etc.

There is also a website for more details and case studies of men from Kent who have turned their lives around after attempting suicide

Andrew Scott-Clark, director of public health at KCC, said: “Given that the majority of these men are not in contact with mental health services before they take their own lives, they are a very difficult group to reach through traditional interventions.

“We are pleased that people have been using the helpline and we will continue to encourage anyone who is feeling the pressure at the moment to talk to someone.

“We also urge friends and family of people who may be going through a rough patch, to point them in the direction of crucial support which could prevent them harming themselves.”

Alan Heyes from MHM added: “We’ve seen an increase in calls with people making comments that talking made them feel ‘light’ and ‘less panicked’ with one person saying that getting the helpline number was the ‘best thing that had happened’ to them.

“Our 24/7 helpline is staffed by experienced counsellors who are there to provide you with a confidential, non-judgemental listening support service. You don’t have to go through this alone.”

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