Male suicide: Research insight builds a more effective prevention service
In the UK, three-quarters of the people who take their own lives are men. By interrogating data from coroner, primary care and A&E records, health psychologist Dr Pooja Saini identified a recurring theme; a lack of support and services for people in suicidal crisis, particularly within community settings.
Looking at models to fill the void, Dr Saini offered support to a unique project called James’s Place - a safe, comfortable community centre for men in crisis, driven by a mother whose son died aged 21 by suicide after walking out of A&E.
Helped by Saini’s relationships across academia, health, local authorities, and people with lived experience, the founders brought together like-minded people and with strong support for the Zero Suicide Initiative and suicide prevention generally, and in 2018 launched the first James’s Place in Liverpool.
The design, processes and ethos of centre have all been guided by LJMU research and over 1000 men have been helped by the service. The clinical outcomes showed a significant reduction in suicidality for men using the service and it has helped to alleviate pressure on A&E departments, mental health services and GP surgeries.
“I am somebody who has been to different counselling in different groups in different support networks, and I’ve never, ever, ever felt comfortable…For me, it’s [James Place] an open space. It’s calming. It’s relaxing.” – User (anonymous)