Health Check

BBC World Service

Health, Fitness & Nutrition, Technology

Health Check grapples with health issues on a global scale, investigates discoveries and solutions in healthcare, and looks at how to deliver a healthier world. Presented by Claudia Hammond.


One Man’s Mission to Prevent Suicides

March 9th, 2016

Episode 77 of 119 episodes

This week the latest figures for suicides in Australia were released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Over the past five years the average number of deaths by suicide each year was 2577, and in 2014, approximately 75% of them were males and 25% were females. Coincidentally Health Check has just had an email from a listener who has been spending his own money on a rather unusual suicide prevention scheme. Sheep farmer Tim Barritt, from the Barossa Valley in New South Wales, Australia, writes ads and puts them in local papers, and he is now about to publish his 81st advert. They are designed to get people talking about emotional health issues, to make them feel less alone and in every advert he encourages people to seek help and provides information about how to do so. He tells Claudia what prompted him to launch his campaign and what keeps him motivated to continue. What is the evidence that this type of intervention is successful? Professor Keith Hawton, consultant psychiatrist and director of the Centre for Suicide Research at Oxford University, explains what works when it comes to suicide prevention. Saturated Fat Two weeks ago Health Check investigated how important our total fat consumption is. And it was discovered that the overall proportion of fat or carbohydrates in our diets it is not as important as making sure people do not eat too many calories overall. In addition, the advice from experts was that we should not miss out on healthy fats such as those from oily fish. But what about the supposed bad guys – saturated fats? In the penultimate of Health Check’s series on food dilemmas, James Gallagher, health editor for BBC News online, has been finding out. Photo: A suicide prevention advert written by Tim Barritt. Copyright: Tim Barritt.

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