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Our male suicide crisis: The women pleading for action

Lacey-Maria adored her dad and her dad adored her.

But in February 27 year old Richard took his life.

"After I got told I had lost him, it just broke my heart. I thought, am I never going to see my best friend?"

It's hard to listen to an 8 year old say that, but Lacey-Maria is determined not to forget him. "I'm always going to be daddy's princess."

Read more on her story here.

Lacey-Maria and her dad Richard

Lacey-Maria's story is not unique.

In 2017, 360 people in Wales took their own life. The vast majority, 77% of them were men.

It remains the biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK.

In 2015 Jacob Abraham from Cardiff took his own life. Within a year his best friend Andrew and their other friend Mathew would also be dead.

Jacob Abraham, Mathew Besley and Andrew Noman died within a year of each other

The Jacob Abraham Foundation was set up by his mother Nicola to stop more people dying. It offers help to other young people suffering from anxiety, depression and over whelming feelings of despair.

You can watch a programme featuring Jacob's story here.

It also supports families effected by suicide. Nicola and her family felt alone when Jacob died, not knowing where to turn. In December she told me things had not improved for other families.

If anything it's got worse. We want to have initial support. We want the family to receive a comprehensive support package when someone dies.

– Nicola Abraham
Each of these faces has lost a loved one to suicide Credit: ITV Wales

The lack of support is something I've heard time and again from those I've interviewed who've lost someone to suicide. Friends, even members of the same family finding it a difficult subject to talk about.

And one word is often repeated, whether it comes from a mother, daughter, or wife: crisis.

Many believe the number of deaths, particularly of men to suicide is at crisis levels.

This week a new campaign was launched called The Pledge to do something about it.

It's asking for those who are struggling to pledge that they will reach out for help.

The Pledge card was launched by Mid Powys Mind

Among those backing it is former Everton and Wales Goalkeeper Neville Southall.

He's lost a brother to suicide and friends including Gary Speed.

These days Neville is known for his social justice activism on Twitter and regularly, up to four times a month, suicidal people contact him.

Neville Southall is backing the The Pledge camapign

He has attended suicide prevention courses to help deal with people in crisis.

"Sometimes by writing the things down they can see it's not as bad as what it seems or there is a way forward."

The Pledge Card is the latest campaign to try and reverse the suicide statistics. Last year Project 84 was launched.

84 manikins representing the number men who take their own lives every week in the UK Credit: ITV Wales

The striking image of 84 manikins standing high above London on the ITV tower represented the number of men who take their lives every week in the UK.

It was designed to shock and to get us talking.

By opening up about our mental health experts believe the rates will come down and fewer families will be broken by suicide.

If your family has been affected by suicide there is a booklet produced by NHS Wales called Help is at Hand. You can find it here.

If you are in distress or need some support, the Samaritans are available 24 hours a day on 116 123 or through their website.