One man dies from suicide every minute, and 75% of all suicides are men. It was therefore only fitting that the talks in support of Movember started with Suicide Prevention Bristol presenting to my yogis at the end of this week’s Yoga For Men class in Keynsham, Bristol.
Saving lives in Bristol
SPB has been doing incredible work locally since it was established only a year ago. The results speak for themselves. A staggering 73% drop in suicides in known hot spots around Bristol. SPB’s intervention has mean that they has saved 25 people’s lives, with many more supported through its much needed services.
SPB is effective, particularly when compared to police patrols that only see around 20% of suicides from the road, SPB is there, on the front line, listening and supporting people in any way they can. Timing is everything – usually a critical 1 or 2 hour window where every second counts. SPB is saving lives.
It’s not only on the front line, but it’s vital backroom support services making a difference. Most notably, its ASSISTline. This is a national helpline offering supportive listening and information to anyone affected by suicide, including family, friends and carers. It is open 24-7-365 on 0800 689 5652. Anybody is welcome to call for support.
Punching above its weight
With such impressive results, you would think that SPB was a large charity. For from it – through a small team of 25 volunteers (heroes in my book), they have foot patrols walking the streets of Bristol, and controllers who liaise with the emergency and support services to ensure that they offer a joined up crisis management service to those in need.
Even though SPB’s ‘patch’ covers Clifton and central Bristol, its volunteers are from across Bristol. They come from all walks of life, and are fully trained before delivering its services. SPB is always on the look out for new volunteers. If you are interested in joining, I encourage you to get in touch with SPB.
Public generosity is so important
As with any charity, SPB relies heavily on public funding. Notwithstanding a recent successful National Lottery award, generous donations help to fund its vital frontline work on the streets and support services such as through the new helpline. At my Yoga For Men class, I donated all payments received (less costs) to SPB. The generosity of my students meant that we raised an impressive £90 for the charity, and this will only increase. One of my yogis is a chimney sweep, and as well as a great sweep, he also donated his fee to Movember and the four local charities doing talks. Hugh, I cannot thank you enough. Should you be interested in donating you can do so easily online.
What a way to open the talks
Given SPB only spoke for 15 minutes, I was blown away by their presentation and so were my male yogis – you could have heard a pin drop in the room. Mike & Shannon from SPB spoke openly and honestly about the incredible work they do. They are trailblazers in the region, on the frontline in supporting Movember’s global campaign.
After such an amazing 1st week, what’s next?
On Monday evening, it’s Frome-based We Hear You delivering its talk on its free cancer counselling service available across the region. I for one cannot wait. Should you be interested in joining, the yoga class is exclusively for men, whereas the talk is open to all. Yoga starts at 7pm, talk at 7.50pm. Get in touch and join my friendly group of yogis.