Ben launches suicide prevention campaign

Photo: Ben

One in three automotive workers reported having issues managing their mental health

Automotive charity Ben has launched a campaign to raise awareness about suicide prevention and highlight that it is there for those who are struggling.

According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), in 2021, there were 6,567 deaths by suicide registered in the UK, with males aged between 45-49 having the highest suicide rate in England and Wales.

A total of 126 people die by suicide in the UK every week, with around 74 percent of those being male.

Eighty percent of those working in the automotive industry are male, so there is potentially a greater risk and vulnerability to suicide than in other industries.

Worryingly, Ben says it has seen an increase in calls to its helpline for support around suicide over recent years. In 2022, Ben supported 303 individuals who disclosed they were experiencing suicidal ideation or intent. Around seven employers each year call on the charity’s Urgent Response Service after an employee has taken their own life.

Employers have a role to play in reducing the stigma around male mental health and to provide relevant support to prevent suicide. From findings in Ben’s survey report 2023, one in three automotive workers reported having had issues managing their mental health, compared with one in six of the general UK working population.

Rachel Clift, health and wellbeing director at Ben, said: “Research and statistics should give us cause for concern in our industry, coupled with the fact we currently have more people than ever requesting support.

“This is why it’s crucial to raise awareness about loss of life through suicide, as it’s a difficult topic to broach. We want everyone in our industry to know that Ben is there for them and urge people to get in touch for support if they’re struggling or in crisis.

“If you work, or have worked, in the automotive industry please get in touch now if you don’t feel you can cope or if you’re at breaking point. You can contact our free and confidential helpline.”

Don’t struggle alone. Contact the Ben helpline on 08081 311 333 or use the webchat facility. You can also access Ben’s out of hours text support line by texting BEN to 85258.

For more information on Ben’s training and services, email bentraining@ben.org.uk

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