A self-made millionaire who lost everything, became homeless and considered suicide is now back on his feet with a roof over his head thanks to a recovery programme run by a charity in St Paul’s.
Second Step’s Hope Project supports men aged between 30 and 64 who are suicidal.
A six-month evaluation of the project by researchers from the University of Bristol found that Hope clients’ suicidal thoughts and self-harming fell by 50 per cent.
Over the last two years, Hope has worked with 400 men. One of those men is Paul:
Since the start of Covid-19, the group of men who Hope support has doubled in size but they have not got capacity in their small team to help everyone who needs them.
Hope works with men aged 30 to 64 because it is a high risk group according to data from the Office of National Statistics.
The project offers men short-term emotional and practical support, building strong relationships with clients as well as offering them expert money and debt advice.
“Every time I got to the top, I threw it all away,” said Paul. “I lost my family, my home and on the streets I lost my dignity and I lost my will to live.
“When I was growing up and even as an adult, men didn’t speak about any mental health problems, men never cry and men never show fear. That’s how it was for me. And I didn’t know I could get help.
“Thanks to Hannah and the Hope Project I got diagnosed with bipolar and I now understand why I felt like I felt. To have someone to talk to, to help you and not judge you was amazing. She’s saved my life.”
Main photo and video by Qezz Gill
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