Halifax man commended by top cops after helping suicide survivor

A suicide prevention charity has sent a message to the Halifax public.

Tuesday, 7th January 2020, 10:16 am
Updated Monday, 13th January 2020, 1:52 pm
Mr Jamil is the manager at Dynamic Motor Company

Andy's Man Club (AMC) are bidding to help Calderdale men struggling with suicidal thoughts over the colder months by getting word out the club operates two weekly meetings at both the Shay Stadium and Hebden Bridge Town Hall.

The suicide prevention club, formed in 2016, is hoping for more men to "open up and not bury feelings away", and regularly sees upwards of 65 men a week attending.

The rally call comes after Atif Jamil, 25, was awarded at the recent Calderdale Policing Awards for assisting in the prevention of a suicide attempt in Halifax's town centre last year.

Mr Jamil said he thinks about the incident every day

Mr Jamil, of Halifax, said: "I was driving on Burdock Way and saw a man on his own at the side of the road.

"My natural instinct was to stop and help, so I spoke to him.

"I noticed he was sober and there was no indication of any drug-taking - I remember he was very well-spoken and an intelligent man.

"Another person was on the scene at the time who contacted the police.

Mr Jamil wasawarded by Chief Superintendent Dickie Whitehead at the Shay Stadium, on October 23

"The man was on the phone to a woman and he told me 'she's left me'.

"This man was at the lowest point in his life, but I told him he wasn't alone and I tried to hold my nerve.

"I work two jobs, one of which is at Lloyds Bank, so I have experience with speaking to vulnerable people."

Mr Jamil, who is also the manager at Dynamic Motor Company, in Halifax, said he was speaking to the man for 15 minutes before the police arrived where, with the help of Mr Jamil, officers were able to pull the man to safety.

A spokesperson from AMC said: "The club was set up after Andy Roberts, 23, killed himself.

"His brother-in-law, and former Halifax RLFC player Luke Ambler, along with his mother Elaine Roberts, became determined to prevent as many families as they could from going through such a trauma.

"They formed a men’s group called Andy’s Man Club, which in three years has become one of the most important organisations working to help men today.

"AMC now has 22 clubs across the UK opening their doors to more than 750 men every week and allows men the platform to speak about any issues at all, in a safe non-judgemental space.

"The club operates two of these clubs in Calderdale at the Shay Stadium and Hebden Bridge Town Hall (both on Monday at 7pm) and have upwards of 65 men a week attending across the Calderdale area."

Mr Jamil said: "Every day I think about how big of an impact a suicide could have on a family.

"Just because someone is smiling doesn't mean they are OK mentally or physically."

For his actions in the prevention of a suicide, Mr Jamil was awarded for his bravery by Chief Superintendent Dickie Whitehead at the Shay Stadium, on October 23.

"I'm Muslim and through Islam we're taught if you save one live, you save all because one good deed has the potential to create great change," said Mr Jamil.

A spokesperson from the suicide prevention charity Samaritans, said: "Anyone can contact Samaritans free any time from any phone on 116 123, even a mobile without credit.

"This number won’t show up on your phone bill, or you can email [email protected] or visit www.samaritans.org to find details of your nearest branch, where you can talk to one of our trained volunteers face to face.

Halifax's Samaritans branch can be contacted on 01422 349349, and is located on 29 Harrison Road.