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More than half of Aberdeen men in new Man Chat group admit to suicidal thoughts

More than 50 men who attended a support group in the city have considered taking their own lives in the last year, organisers have said.

Man Chat Aberdeen has held two meetings in recent days and more than 100 men attended.

Organisers said more than half of those confessed to having suicidal thoughts in the last 12 months.

Wray Thomson

Wray Thomson, who founded the group, said the revelation was a reminder of the need for people to seek help.

He said: “Around 100 people attended in the last week and that number is set to rise.

“Here’s the scary part – well over half these people had considered suicide in the past year – and that’s just the people who know about us and what we’re doing here.”

Mr Thomson said the group, which formed late last month, has received more than 1,000 messages from people wanting help or offering support or encouragement – and the group is becoming more organised by the day.

He added: “We’re getting more focussed and getting way more structure in place.

“Our public meetings are helping large numbers of people to deal with their mental health problems and giving them real motivation to better themselves.

“Suicide numbers will decrease in this city and further afield if it’s the last thing we do.”

The group’s organisers have now set up a social group, allowing men to talk on a private Facebook messageboard and attend informal meet ups.


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An oil worker of eight years and a stand-up comedian, Mr Thomson said: “We are launching Man Chat mini events such as group walks, coffee meet-ups and book clubs.

“One thing we’ve noticed is a lot of the enquiries are from the wives, girlfriends, mothers and sisters of men they think will benefit from our help.

“It’s often a case of them saying ‘we can see they need some help but don’t know how to give it to them and this group is exactly what they need’.”

Previously, the group provided online support to a father of two from the city who told Mr Thomson he planned to take his own life later that day.

He was persuaded to attend the group’s meeting two days later and is now getting support.

The man, who has asked not to named, said: “I had just had enough and didn’t want to be here.

“I mailed the Man Chat Aberdeen page and when I got their reply about the meeting they made me feel a bit less stressed and judged.

“It seemed like whoever I was speaking to kind of got what I was saying without me having to say it.”

Such work has earned the group recognition from Scottish Parliament, which has invited Mr Thomson to talk at its Festival of Politics in Edinburgh on October 11 and 12. He will be part of a panel talking about men’s mental health.

A Scottish Parliament spokesman said: “Although progress has been made in recent years in tackling the stigma around mental health, it remains one of the major public health challenges in Scotland.

“This panel brings together people from all walks of life, united by their shared interest in promoting men’s mental wellbeing.

“They’ll discuss why it’s so difficult for men to talk about their mental health and what resources are available to those in need of a helping hand.”

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