HUMEN charity encourages 5k 'Pub Pilgrimage' to mark the number of men lost to suicide

The charity HUMEN are trying to encourage young men to use bars and pubs as safe spaces to talk about their feelings Credit: ITV Granada Reports

Walks have been staged from pubs and bars across the country to raise awareness of male suicide.

The 'Rise Against Suicide' initiative, organised by the HUMEN organisation, has seen supporters walk 5151 metres, with each metre representing a man who has lost his life to suicide in the last year.

Poignantly this year, the journey will be 500m further than in 2021, as the number of suicides across the previous year grew.

The walks, including ones in Manchester and Liverpool, have been planned to start and end at pubs in some of the country's biggest cities, to encourage men to use such venues as safe places to talk about their feelings.

Supporters have been walking 5151 metres to represent the number of men who have lost their lives to suicide this year Credit: ITV Granada Reports

New research conducted by the charity as part of these 'Pub Pilgrimage' walks shows that 33 percent of men in Manchester won't share how they feel over a pint with friends

It also found:

Supporters set off from the Atlas bar in Manchester on Sunday morning as part of the pub pilgrimage.

The pub is owned by Mark and Elaine Wrigley who lost their son to suicide 7 years ago.

Ioannis Wrigley was 18 when he lost his life to suicide Credit: Family photo

Ioannis Wrigley was 18-years-old when he died, and his parents say they got involved with the charity HUMEN because they believe it is so important for people, especially young men, to reach out and talk, and pubs can be a great place for that to happen.

Elaine Wrigley told ITV Granada Reports, "Men do spend quite a proportion of their time in pubs and bars and they talk about lots of things, and I'm sure at the moment that is about the World Cup, but a pub is a great place to meet with friends and potentially talk if you're struggling and need some help.

"Young men tend to be a little bit more macho and don't necessarily feel that it is cool to talk about their feelings and actually in the environment of a bar which is more relaxed, what better place to reach out if you do need help.

"We'd encourage anyone to reach out if they're struggling.

"You're never alone, and this charity [HUMEN] are really doing some amazing work for young men and if you are struggling you should be letting one of your friends know that you're not in a great place.

"It's actually much braver to say 'I'm struggling' than to think you're being brave by not saying anything."

HUMEN which is a men's mental health charity is aiming to raise £500,000 for men's mental health as part of this pub pilgrimage. Founder and Actor River Hawkins said: “We all need friendly spaces to talk, listen and connect.

"Pubs are the cornerstone of communities, but as our research tells us, they are currently wasted on men – who would seemingly prefer to talk about anything other than their personal trials and tribulations.

"We truly believe that this type of gathering place can play an important role in addressing suicide and mental health, if we just harness it for good, rather than the traditional 'drink and forget' mentality that plagues male social circles."

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