Owens suffered from bulimia and depression after realising he was gay aged 19 and attempted suicide by overdose in his 20s which led to him falling into a coma. Now 39 Owens came out publicly as gay three years ago and is now backing the Samaritans Men on the Ropes campaign and is urging men to open up and talk about their problems – no matter how small – with their loved ones.
“I was lucky enough to get a second chance and realise that I had a problem and how much it helped when I did speak to people about it,”.
“I woke up in hospital, my parents were crying and all my friends were there. ‘My God, what have I done?’ were the first thoughts to cross my mind,” he said.
Research conducted by the Samaritans found that not only are men three times more likely to take their own lives than women but also that working class men in their 30s, 40s and 50s are least likely to discuss their emotions with friends and colleagues seeing it as a weakness. In a bid to alter this perception the campaign is aimed at these men and hopes to cut suicide rates in those from that background as well as working towards reducing suicides on the railway.
Martin Gallagher is head of community safety for Network Rail and has said that each suicide on the railway is a tragedy and Network Rail will do what it can to reduce the tragic toll.
“That is why we have entered into this important partnership with Samaritans. Their expertise and insight will help us together train our people in managing this sensitive and vital issue.” he said.
If you are experiencing emotional difficulties of any kind and would like someone impartial to talk to in confidence then please visit the homepage of this site where you can use the search tool to locate a qualified counsellor in your local area.