EDITORIAL: We have to do more to prevent suicide amongst young men

To the outside world, Bobby Quinn was a young man who was deeply loved and appreciated. He had his whole life ahead of him. More so, he was the father of a beautiful young child perhaps a year old if that. One would assume had everything to hope for and everything to fight for.

But it wasn’t to be. For reasons we might never understand Bobby made the decision to end his own life on Friday night, much to the heartbreak of all who knew him. His case is not an exception or one off, but something that is very common amongst young men his age throughout Sunderland and the North East. There is an epidemic of male suicide.

Speaking as a writer, my friend Jonathan David Hern taken his own life ten years ago this month by jumping off the cliffs at Marsden. He was again someone who was deeply loved and valued by all and had a lot going for him, reminding us that sometimes the problems or troubles these young men are facing are not always obvious or visible.

We do not and cannot understand the sense of hopelessness they may face to take this step, and it cannot be attributed simply to material factors in life, be it perceived success or a lack of it. But this is all the reason way more is needed to stop this. Too many young men bottle up their troubles, perhaps in fear they will come across as a burden or nuisance to others, but that is not true.

We have to ensure that nobody feels they are alone, and we have to do a bit to make sure everyone we know is okay. Small acts, such as taking the time to hear someone out, to offer small appreciation, compliments or acts of kindness or gratitude, can go a long way. We must let all young men know that they have a hope in this world, and a hope for the future.

More must be done across the board to stop suicides amongst young men. No family should have to go through this.