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According to Rethink Mental Illness charity, UK men are “three times as likely to die by suicide than women”. Mental Health UK says suicide is the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the country.

UK Men’s Sheds, help men overcome the challenges of isolation depression, lost hope and purpose. We join with many others across the world in support of World Suicide Prevention Day.

What is World Suicide Prevention Day?

Every September organisations the world over start a conversation to raise awareness about suicide to help tackle the stigma around talking and to share information about what we can all do to help prevent loss of life.

Where can I turn if someone I know is struggling with suicidal thoughts

UK Men’s Sheds Association are members of the Zero Suicide Alliance (ZSA) who offer free training to anyone who wants to know how to help colleagues friends and family who are struggling.

Zero Suicide Alliance

Men’s Sheds do not claim to be a cure for mental health, but there are many Men who have found them to be life-changing. Folks who are struggling with loneliness, isolation, bereavement, anxiety and depression are often referred to / signposted to their local Men’s Sheds by doctors and health care workers as a non-medical approach.

This is called ‘Social Prescribing’ and can have long-lasting beneficial effects, rather than taking anti-depressants.

Bengt Norborg of Swedish Men’s Sheds on the transformative power of Sheds

This event has now passed but the video can still be accessed on the links below

Beano is a Shedder who has struggled with suicidal thoughts but came through it and now works with Men’s Sheds to reach other men in the same situation.

Rewatch the live chat we had with Beano on 10 Sept 2021 on Youtube

Links referenced at the live session:

Find out more about RTPprojects:
The Never Give Up campaign.
Where to get a Neve Give Up T-Shirt should anyone want one.
Link to never give up on Bandcamp.
Steve Pledger, the musician Beano worked with on Never Give Up.

The Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) point to a report which found that 78% of GPs reported prescribing antidepressants, despite believing that an alternative treatment would be more appropriate, but other approaches were either not available or had long waiting lists.

Hear what Men who have joined Sheds have to say

“I’ve been given a second life” said Bill who had worked in the gas fields in Australia & in the UK as a welder.  Following the death of his wife of nearly 61 years he became isolated and very lonely; he was lost.  He didn’t know what to do with himself and became depressed.

Bill’s children found out about Sheds and he was taken back by how “everyone was so accepting”. Bill said, “It’s like instant friendship, I haven’t looked back.”  His son, Ian remembers that “It was like the depression just lifted and he started caring about other people again, it was such a joy to see.”

Bill said “I come to my Shed and I can forget about being lonely.  It’s (The Shed) somewhere to go, it’s something to do, I’ve found another reason to exist, I’m not very fit and able anymore, It’s a lifeline, it really is.  I just love it.”

Bill Miles – Shed Member

I have cancer, I’ve recently started to visit the Man Shed and I’ve made some smashing friends. When you walk in it feels like the sun has come out and the heaviness is lifted from your shoulders. Talking to people who know what you are going through really helps.

Norman, Shedder

It’s given me a purpose, I used to come on Wednesdays, on the odd occasions I’ve been helping on Mondays and with the ladies session on Tuesdays. It gives me something to look forward to once a week.  It also means that I actually have contact with a lot of the staff at the hospice that looked after my wife.

Andy – Men’s Sheds Leader

Other useful Services you can access

It is something where you can sit there and do nothing or you can just get involved.  But its just something to do that makes you feel good.’


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