James’ Place open a new centre in Newcastle to help prevent male suicides

The charity was created in the memory of James, a former Newcastle student who took his own life in 2006

The charity James’ Place has opened a new centre in Newcastle to prevent male suicides.

Located on Summerhill Street, Newcastle, the charity offers free therapy and qualified specialists to support suicidal men.

Originally founded by the parents of James, a former Newcastle University student who took his own life in 2006, the new centre is now one of three located in the UK, ITV News.

Claire Milford Haven and Nick Wentworth-Stanley are working to prevent male suicides across the country through James’ Place, after the death of their son when he was 21.

The Newcastle centre has been open for referrals from local NHS crisis teams since late last year but is now available to all suicidal men in the region. There are also centres in both London and Liverpool.

A service user of the charity, Marcus Davies, has sought support from the organisation previously and believed it positively benefitted his life immensely. He said: “Lots of things build up and I found myself being indifferent to being alive. I felt like nobody could help me”.

Marcus further shared an encouraging message to others struggling with thoughts of suicide, he said: “If you’re thinking suicide is the only way out for you, because it is that bad, I would urge any men to come here and access what they’ve got because it quite literally saved my life”.

James’ Place works by men either self-referring or being referred to the centre, they have no waiting list and people are seen within two working days by family, friends and medical professionals to access therapy quickly.

The CEO of James’ Place, Ellen O’Donoghue, has spoken about the significance of creating safe spaces for suicidal men to access and how the charity can help them. She said: “We’ve really tried to create a place that makes it as easy as possible for men to open up.

“We know that we’re asking people to do something really difficult, to talk to a therapist, about their fears, about their feelings, the levels of distress they’re experiencing so we want to make that as easy as possible, so everything that we do is designed to get to the heart of the problem really quickly”.

Open Monday to Friday from 09.30-5.30pm by appointment only, the charity has had great success so far and has treated 1,800 men to date.

They hope to open two further centres in England by 2026 so half of the male population will be within two hours of a James’ Place.

If you or someone you know has been affected by this story, please speak to someone or contact Samaritans on 116 123 at any time. You can also contact Anxiety UK on 03444 775 774, Mind on 0300 123 3393, and Calm (Campaign against living miserably) on 0800 58 58 58. 

If you are a Northumbria University student feeling unsettled about the news, please be aware that support is available. You can access 24/7 information, advice and support through the Ask4Help service and specialist support through the professional counselling and mental health team. To access these services please visit Student Life and Wellbeing.

If you are a Newcastle University student and need support, you can access 24/7 information, advice and support through the TalkCampus and iNCLude service and find specialist support through the professional counselling and mental health team. To access these services please visit Student Wellbeing.

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Featured image via James’ Place