Campaign launched to prevent suicides supported by footballing greats like Sir Alex Ferguson

More than 200 people a year die by suicide in Greater Manchester.

A campaign to prevent suicide is being launched across Greater Manchester supported by some of the regions footballing greats.

The League Managers Association (LMA) which includes Sir Alex Ferguson and former Manchester City boss and Manchester United forward, Mark Hughes are partnering with The Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham to highlight the issue.

It’s essential that the topic of suicide is spoken about openly and we can all play a part in making this happen. The more we talk about suicide, the easier it is to ask someone if they’re having suicidal thoughts. Talking really could help to save a life.

Sir Alex Ferguson CBE

The new partnership between the Mayor and the LMA will support the Shining a Light on Suicide campaign, run by Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership.

More than 200 people a year die by suicide in Greater Manchester and research has shown that up to 135 people are affected by each death.

The campaign works to change how people feel using the word suicide, so that everyone can comfortably and confidently start open and honest conversations about suicide and  suicidal feelings. 

We know there is a growing mental health crisis taking place alongside this pandemic that will still be there after it’s over. But we also know that people have been looking out for each other more and that gives us something to build on. Just having a little bit of knowledge about suicide, and the confidence to speak about it in the right way, can help to save a life.

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham

It is hoped that managers will be able to use their influence and reach to raise awareness of the Shining a Light on Suicide campaign.

While many existing campaigns encourage people to talk about mental health and well-being, The Shining a Light on Suicide campaign say there is often little or no direct mention of suicide which they aim to address.

What should I do if I'm having suicidal feelings?

The NHS has offered the following advice:

  • try not to think about the future – just focus on getting through today

  • stay away from drugs and alcohol

  • get yourself to a safe place, like a friend's house

  • be around other people

  • do something you usually enjoy, such as spending time with a pet

You can also phone these free helplines:

  • Samaritans - 116 123

  • Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) – for men - 0800 58 58 58

  • Papyrus – for people under 35 - 0800 068 41 41

  • Childline – for children and young people under -19 0800 1111

What should I do if someone I know is having suicidal feeling?

Samaritans and Mind say individuals can play a role in suicide prevention by:

  • Pointing out the alternatives

  • Showing that you care

  • Getting a doctor or psychologist involved

  • Encourage them to talk about their feelings

  • Help them to make a support plan

  • Take the free 20 minute training to learn how to save a life:

  • Encourage someone to talk before suicide seems their only option: