Mayor of Islington Troy Gallagher names James' Place as chosen charity for 2021
How are you? No. Seriously, how are you? Just think about that for a moment.
Over the past 20 years, I have used my own lived experience to work tirelessly to tackle poverty, discrimination, loneliness, mental health and help people in their hour of need. I have seen friends and people, young people, with so much to offer and all to live for face a crisis in their life through no fault of their own. They are overwhelmed and engulfed in a darkness that is all too real for them unable to ask for or seek help to deal with whatever issue takes them over. Sadly, they see themselves, wrongly, as worthless and of no value to themselves or others where the only option of escape is to take their own lives.
Suicide is the biggest killer of young men and young women today. It is a silent hidden killer that does not discriminate between age, background, status, ambition or aspiration. It is a public health issue even more exacerbated and increased amongst young people because of the pandemic. No one should feel they have to carry such a burden on their own. No mother, father, brother, sister, family or friend should carry that burden onwards always wondering through their daily pain ‘what if’? or ‘if only’.
We need to do something now. We need to talk. We need to listen. We need to act. We need to break the taboo of mental health. My charities are very special as all of my charities are here to help and, literally, save lives. They offer hope to people, young and old, who are in the darkest and loneliest of places. Through their face to face support they shine a light to guide and support those in desperate need out of that darkness and help people overcome their fears showing them this as a strength not a weakness.
Now I need your help to help us help them and save a life today. I am asking you to talk about this issue and raise awareness, to talk to your children and loved ones and ask them if they are ok twice. I am asking you to help us raise much-needed funds to help fund support sessions either through a donation or by organising an event to help. Remind your family they are loved and even the darkest night and biggest storms pass. After you read this, give your child a hug and tell them no matter what they are loved and never on their own.
Let’s make this year count. Let the winds of change blow away those taboos. Let us start to build a new tomorrow today.
Cllr Troy Gallagher
HW The Mayor of Islington 2021/22
At James’ Place, we help men in crisis to understand what they are going through, get through it and find hope for the future. We offer a specialist therapeutic intervention, developed with leading practitioners and academics, which is delivered in a calm and welcoming environment. Our work has been independently evaluated and found to have significant impact.
Our London service opened in 2020 following the success of our first centre in Liverpool, where we have already supported more than 450 men experiencing suicidal crisis. The new London service is currently working from a temporary space in Farringdon, before we move into our new centre near Old Street later this year.
The statistics around suicide are stark and indicate the importance and urgency of our work with men in suicidal crisis. The most recent ONS figures show that male suicide had increased to its highest level for 20 years before the pandemic.
We also know that debt, unemployment, family breakdown and relationship problems are all linked to acute emotional distress. The pandemic has increased hardship and put people’s lives and relationships under ever greater pressure. Those who were vulnerable before COVID-19 are more so now and we are seeing this in the referrals we are taking.
forum+ is an independent charity working to promote equality for LGBTQ+ people in Camden and Islington, by hosting social groups and events, which celebrate LGBTQ+ life in the boroughs and working to reduce social isolation and loneliness. forum+ organises the annual Camden & Islington
LGBT History Month programme, which celebrates and showcases local LGBTQ+ history and heritage. The charity provides support services to victims of homophobic, biphobic and transphobic hate crime. forum+ offers bespoke training and consultancy on LGBTQ+ equality to local businesses, voluntary and statutory organisations. The charity has a wonderful team of volunteers who are integral to the delivery of their services. All of their services are available to persons aged 18 or above.
Based in Finsbury Park, icap aims to improve mental health and wellbeing in the Irish community through providing counselling and psychotherapy. Our services cover Islington and extend across and beyond London. We are committed to providing low cost therapy for people who find it hard to access help, including people on low incomes and facing discrimination and disadvantage. Every week, our therapist team sees 200 people across our services. We have specialist expertise in supporting people who have suffered childhood trauma, including survivors of institutional abuse in Ireland.