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Woodford Green student's video raises awareness of male suicide in memory of her dad

PUBLISHED: 10:43 27 June 2019 | UPDATED: 10:56 27 June 2019

Ciara Sims has created a video to raise awareness of male suicide. Picture: Ciara Sims

Ciara Sims has created a video to raise awareness of male suicide. Picture: Ciara Sims

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A Woodford Green undergraduate student has created a video about male suicide in honour of her father, who took his own life three years ago.

Ciara Sims, 20, created the animation, called Man Up, to raise awareness of the biggest killer of men under 49 in the UK.

In the 10 years 1995 to 2014, 245 men in Redbridge took their own lives.

Paul Sims, 49, took his own life on July 2, 2017 and as part of her degree course work at university, Ciara produced a four-minute video to signpost support that is available to those that may need it.

In the video, she said: "He was a generous, kind, caring and funny man. He was the one of the hardest working and strongest men I have had the pleasure of knowing. However, he struggled internally and was not able to talk about it or seek the help he perhaps knew that he needed."

Bridge councillor and family friend Paul Canal paid tribute to Ciara, her brother Aneurin and mother Angela when he asked Redbridge Council leader Jas Athwal at a full council meeting on June 20 what steps are being taken to address suicide in the borough.

Cllr Canal asked if Cllr Athwal would consider publishing the animation, which highlights both the facts around male suicide and the help and support that is available.

Cllr Canal also asked: "Could the leader advise what steps are being taken locally, nationally and regionally to address suicide amongst men and women, and also what steps are being take to address the disproportionate number of suicides amongst men, and young men in particular?"

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In response, Cllr Athwal outlined the council's suicide prevention policy.

The policy states: "Over the next three years, we have set ourselves the ambition of significantly reducing the number of suicides in Redbridge. We will work to enable our residents to experience good mental health, support those who experience mental illness and support our workforce to be able to identify and respond to needs as early as possible.

"We have taken a life course approach to ensure that we capture risk factors and those at greatest needs at key stages of life."

The council has vowed to maximise early contact to improve mental health and resilience, improve mental health and resilience via quality education, and provide good quality services and improve crisis response.

Redbridge Council is also collaborating with neighbouring boroughs to maximise delivery for mental health outcomes across a bigger geographic area.

The collaboration between Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge seeks to harness expertise and shared resources.

Redbridge is also part of the East London Health and Care Partnership Suicide Prevention Group sharing expertise and driving change at a wider North-East London level.

If you have been affected by the contents of this article, help and support is available via the Samaritans at www.samaritans.org or call 116 123.

Man Up is available to watch on Vimeo and Youtube.

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