South Yorkshire rockers who lost band member to suicide praise new awareness campaign

Alvarez Kings
Alvarez Kings

A South Yorkshire band hit by the suicide of a former drummer has praised a new advertising campaign by Sheffield Council to prevent more men taking their own lives.

Alvarez Kings members Simon and Paul Thompson were in a band called Redshed with drummer and friend Alan Beck, who took his own life seven years ago, aged just 28.

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The band today took to Twitter to praise Sheffield Council’s new #stayalive campaign, which was launched to get more men talking about their mental health before it is too late.

“Kudos to @SheffCouncil for their #stayalive advertising campaign targeting male suicide,” the band wrote.

“Having lost a band member to suicide years ago it hits home. Remember it’s cool to speak up to your mates if you are feeling down.”

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Alvarez Kings’ song ‘The Other Side of Sadness’ was written as a ‘thank you’ to Alan, whom Simon has praised as an ‘amazing drummer’ and a ‘lovely guy’ who got him into music.

Sheffield Council’s advertising campaign features the slogan ‘your mate might be struggling to #stayalive but you can help’, beneath a photo of two men talking.

It highlights the startling figures that 76 per cent of suicide victims in 2014 were men, and one in 40 people think about suicide each year.

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If you need help, you can call Samaritans on Freephone 116123, or the national men’s helpline CALM on 0800 58 58 58.