Skip to main content

World Suicide Prevention Day 2023: It's Okay to Talk

Details: Written by Kate Hutchinson |

World Suicide Prevention Day 10th September

Suicide is an international public health challenge. The World Health Organisation reported that over 700,000 people take their own lives each year – that’s one person every 40 seconds. In the UK, thousands of people end their lives by suicide each year, with one in five of us thinking about suicide in our lifetimes. Men have consistently surpassed women for the number of suicides on an international scale. According to the most recent data provided by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), approximately three-quarters of suicides in the UK are accounted for by men. This proportion has remained steady since the mid-1990s. This World Suicide Prevention Day,The Skills Network wants to raise awareness of suicide prevention training courses and shine a spotlight on ANDYSMANCLUB, a male suicide prevention charity.

When is World Suicide Prevention Day 2023?

September 10th each year marks World Suicide Prevention Day.

Every year more than 70 mental health and suicide prevention organisations unite to advocate for prioritising suicide prevention to the governments of both the UK and Ireland.

The theme for World Suicide Prevention Day 2021-2023 is ‘Creating Hope Through Action’, with a core message of there always being an alternative to suicide, which inspires us all to create light and take action.

suicide is the biggest killer of males under 50- NHS England in the UK men are 3 times more likely to take their own lives than women

One such suicide prevention charity that works tirelessly to support men at risk of suicide is ANDYSMANCLUB.

We caught up with Danny, a shift manager for an Electronics company over in Leeds, and a voluntary ANDYSMANCLUB facilitator in his spare time.


Introducing Danny from ANDYSMANCLUB

At ANDYSMANCLUB, we want to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health and create a judgement-free, confidential space where men can be open about the storms in their lives. We aim to achieve this through weekly, free-to-attend peer-to-peer support groups for men aged over 18.

How and why was ANDYSMANCLUB founded?

In mid-2016, nine men met in a small room in the stereotypical Yorkshire town of Halifax with the simple aim of talking through their issues and helping each other deal with their mental health.

All in attendance agreed there was a magic in that room that had to be shared. This was the start of a movement that has grown faster than anyone first involved could have ever imagined.

Fast forward 7 years and ANDYSMANCLUB now has groups at over 130 locations across three counties of the UK.

ANDYSMANCLUB takes its name from Andrew Roberts, a man who sadly took his own life aged 23 in early 2016.

Andy’s family had no inkling that he was suffering or struggling to the extent that he would do this, and as a result, looked deeper into male suicide and men’s mental health. They soon discovered that male suicide is the biggest killer of men under 50, with male mental health surrounded by well-ingrained cultural stigma in the UK.

Elaine Roberts and Luke Ambler are Andy’s Mum and Brother-in-Law, together they founded ANDYSMANCLUB, a group where men aged 18 and above can speak openly about their mental health in a judgment-free, non-clinical environment.

What are the main aims of ANDYSMANCLUB?

Our aim is simple, to help #THATONEMAN.


Danny from ANDYSMANCLUB sat at a desk with some #ITSOKAYTOTALK merchandise

What is your personal story with ANDYSMANCLUB?

I have always been the stereotypical male, burying my head in the sand, ignoring my problems and feeling that it is embarrassing to show weakness.

Talking about how I ‘feel’ used to make me want to rip my skin off, so much so that it caused my marriage to fail. I knew we had problems but rather than try and face them I ignored them for so long that it caused a breakdown that couldn’t be repaired. I mean who wants to stay married to someone who won’t talk?!

From here it was a downward spiral, my drinking became worse, and my mental health was taking a battering, but all the time I kept a ‘brave face’ not showing anyone how I was truly feeling. Not a wise choice let me tell you.

I got so down that I planned out my own suicide.

Luckily, ANDYSMANCLUB came into my workplace to do their presentation and after a few weeks of inner turmoil, I decided to attend a group.

Without ANDYSMANCLUB I wouldn’t be here today.

How do ANDYSMANCLUB group sessions work?

Groups now operate nationwide and are completely volunteer-led, with the vast majority of group facilitators having first interacted with ANDYSMANCLUB when they came through the door as a service user.

With a service used on a weekly basis by over 3000 men, and an army of 900+ facilitators, the movement is always continuing to grow on a week-by-week basis.


What was your first impression of an ANDYSMANCLUB group session?

Walking through that door for the first time is terrifying, especially for someone who finds it hard to be open and reveal their true selves. However, an hour later I was talking to a group of guys I’d never met before and openly crying in front of them.

When I left I felt a very strange sensation. I don’t know if it was happiness, relief or positivity, maybe a combination of all 3 but since then I’ve never looked back.

Danny sat next to an ANDYSMANCLUB member in a group session

What is your role at ANDYSMANCLUB?

I am now a facilitator, visiting workplaces and giving our ANDYSMANCLUB presentation, all trying to save THATONEMAN.

With a team of over 900 facilitators helping the people who attend every Monday, we can make a real difference in suicide prevention and helping others.

We’ve all walked through that door for the first time and we all know how difficult it is.

This is why we volunteer, and give up our free time not only on Mondays but also during the week, at weekends, giving presentations, attending events and spreading the word.

ANDYSMANCLUB volunteers stood under a branded tent at an outdoor event ANDYSMANCLUB volunteers at a stand in a shopping centre

Besides the weekly group sessions, what else does ANDYSMANCLUB do?

ANDYSMANCLUB collaborates with many different charities and organisations, but one of the biggest was when we collaborated with producers of the soap series- Emmerdale, portraying ‘Paddy’s’ story.

The storyline followed Paddy’s decline in mental health, eventually reaching the point where he considered taking his own life. The producers reached out to ANDYSMANCLUB as they wanted to tell his story as authentically as possible.

We are always willing to come to workplaces to talk, present, and try to help raise awareness of suicide prevention, just like we did with The Skills Network in June 2023.


Special thanks to Danny for sharing his story.

Visit ANDYSMANCLUB website

Find ANDYSMANCLUB on Facebook

Suicide Prevention Training Courses with The Skills Network

Here at The Skills Network, we offer free online suicide awareness training.

Our Level 2 Certificate in Self-Harm and Suicide Awareness and Prevention course is fully funded. That means, we can offer this life-saving training to anybody in England for FREE.

over 12,000 learners have completed the online Level 2 Certificate in Self-Harm and Suicide Awareness and Prevention since 2015

Since 2015, we have supported over 12,000 learners (and counting) in achieving this life-saving level 2 qualification, and we couldn't be prouder.

Apply for this FREE qualification today

This free online suicide prevention course is designed for individuals aiming to enhance their understanding of self-harm and suicide. The knowledge acquired through this qualification is versatile and can be applied effectively across various personal and professional scenarios.

Professionals who may benefit from this training on self-harm and suicide prevention include:

  • Educators
  • Mental Health Practitioners
  • Crisis Hotline Volunteers
  • Support Personnel
  • Safeguarding Officers
  • Caregivers

The course is also relevant for any individual who may wish to or need to support someone who might be at risk of self-harm and suicide including:

  • Parents
  • Unpaid carers
  • Legal guardians
  • Siblings or relatives
  • Friends

Please note-

The emotional and physical well-being of our learners is of utmost importance. While some content may be distressing for learners, and despite our efforts to include appropriate trigger warnings, we acknowledge that we cannot foresee all potential triggers for every learner.

This online training course is structured to provide education and extended awareness about self-harm and suicide prevention, and should not be pursued as a substitute for clinical therapeutic intervention or counselling.

Take a closer look at the course content

Listen to Julie and Samantha’s experience of the Level 2 course…

Julie's experience of Level 2 Suicide Prevention course Samantha's experience of the free online suicide awareness training course

Learn more about our Health and Social Care courses

If you're currently facing a crisis or having suicidal thoughts and need someone to talk to, there are numerous helplines staffed by trained individuals who are prepared to listen.

Here are some helplines that you can reach out to:

  • Samaritans: To discuss any distressing matters, you can get in touch with Samaritans at any time of the day, every day of the year. You can dial 116 123 (free from any phone), send an email to, or visit their branches in person.
  • National Suicide Prevention Helpline UK: This helpline offers a supportive listening service to anyone experiencing thoughts of suicide. You can reach them at 0800 689 5652 from 6pm to midnight every day.
  • Switchboard: If you identify as LGBTQ+, you can reach out to Switchboard between 10am and 10pm daily at 0300 330 0630. You can also email them or use their webchat service.
  • Shout: For mental health support without the need for verbal communication, you can text SHOUT to 85258. Shout provides confidential 24/7 text-based assistance for individuals in crisis.