Tackling Suicide with RTProjects Men’s Shed

The RTProjects Men’s Shed is one of the oldest in the UK. Set up in 2011 in response to the alarming male suicide rate in County Durham,

Beano, it’s founder, does not shy away from the subject of suicide and believes that it should be more openly discussed,

 “We need to talk about suicide, as a nation, as a community, as a fellow human, as a friend. We may never know if our conversation has actually saved a life but we do know that it might.”

Having come close to suicide himself he now works to save others from this preventable cause of death.

Like all RTProjects initiatives The RTP Men’s Shed is based on creative activities including art, printmaking, wood-carving, poetry and music.

Beano decided to do something about suicide in Durham. Apart from supporting people directly he wanted to ‘reach out’ to those who may be alone. He knew that it had to be free and easily accessible. A free internet song seemed to fit the bill and so the plan was hatched to write a song that Might be able to save someone from suicide. 

We need to talk about suicide, as a nation, as a community, as a fellow human, as a friend.

The Men’s Shedders embraced the idea. One of them said. “It’s a fantastic idea. I reached out and came here but I know of others who didn’t.” 

Working with local musician Steve Pledger the song was born. ‘NEVER GIVE UP’ was written from Beano’s own experience of suicidal thoughts.

The song along with a video made during lockdown largely from footage already captured by Beano has now been viewed over 1,000 times on You Tube. The idea is that people can simply share it as a link to those who may be struggling. A simple and completely free way of offering hope to others. 

Does it work?  These words from a suicide survivor suggest yes.

“When all I see is nothing and all I feel is nothing, Never Give Up  lyrics enter my mind. Bringing hope and possibility at its core waiting for me to write my next paragraph”