ManGang Come ‘Back Into The Light’ for World Suicide Prevention Day

Image Credit: Diego Gonzalez

Back Into the Light

2nd Sept 2021 | Author: Chris Taylor


Official Includability Partner, ManGang UK, are preparing to walk 12 miles for their ‘Back Into The Light’ event over 10/11 September to raise awareness for World Suicide Prevention Day.

The Hampshire based men’s mental health organisation will start their walk at midnight in Stockbridge and complete their walk by first light in Romsey, thereby stepping back into the light.

On average, 13 men die by suicide every day in the UK. ManGang aim to prevent suicides by offering support services to reach out to people in need through their ‘It’s Not Weak To Speak’ campaign.

“Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem and we want to smash that stigma that surrounds men talking about what troubles them,” say ManGang in the run up to the event, “Demonstrating that whatever darkness you may find yourself in, if you keep moving you will find yourself coming Back Into The Light.”

Participants will be able to sign up here.

ManGang was founded by Includability Ambassador Andy Bishop, a veteran of 22 years in the Corps of Royal Engineers. Since leaving the service, he has struggled with his mental health and has spoken with Includability on his difficulties integrating back into civilian life.

He stared ManGang after losing a friend and former military colleague to suicide in 2017. He set out to break the stigma that led his friend to feeling so isolated and alone. He is a qualified mental health first aider and has recently become an Instructor Member for MHFA England. 

He says ManGang is continuing to grow and now back to face-to-face meetings following the lifting of Covid restrictions. They have helped remove the negativity around men talking about their issues and show how vital a simple conversation can be.

Bishop and the other Includability ambassadors are on hand to signpost to specific support organisations or listen to anyone needing to tell their story via the DCA Platform.

With the recent UK Forces withdrawal from Afghanistan, many veterans may be in need of mental health services in the coming months. The British Army have reaffirmed their confidential support services for serving personal, veterans and civilian workers for the expected increase in cases.

They also suggest speaking to mates, friends or family, a boss or padre, unit welfare staff, medical officer, or GP as additional support options.

World Suicide Prevention Day is hosted by the special interest group, International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP). It is an awareness day observed on 10 September every year, to provide worldwide commitment and action to prevent suicides, with various activities around the world since 2003.

One in every 100 deaths worldwide is the result of suicide. IASP say reducing the stigma around suicide and encouraging well-informed action, we all can reduce instances of suicide around the world.