Don’t flush your life away

14 July 2017 Posted by

If you are male and have visited a pub in Cornwall during the last year or two you may have seen a poster in the toilets urging you not to ‘flush your life away’. And you may have heard phone-in discussions about the ‘Don’t flush your life away’ campaign over the airwaves from BBC Radio Cornwall.  What is the story behind this campaign and how can you get involved?

FishThis is a campaign that aims to reduce the risk of suicide among men in Cornwall & Isles of Scilly. We know that this is a relatively high risk group, accounting for around 60 deaths a year (3/4 of all suicides are male) and we know that some men can find it hard to talk about issues that are troubling them and consequently are less likely to find the help that could benefit them. Partners from the local authority, health services, Samaritans, St Austell Brewery, and Radio Cornwall staff and listeners have talked about this and have now designed two sets of posters, to send a message from local people to anyone who is struggling to cope. The posters are designed to catch the attention of people visiting the toilets – hence the phrase ‘Don’t flush your life away’.


The posters feature the message that:

Cornwall cares about you.

If things are getting you down, take your first step towards getting help by talking to someone:

  • A trusted friend or family member
  • Your GP
  • Samaritans (call free on 116 123)

Each of the twelve posters features an image of a local man and a related slogan to draw the reader in to reading the smaller text. All slogans were proposed by local people, and the models are all volunteers who wanted to support the campaign.

We now have two sets of posters. Set 1 features a health worker, rugby player, pub landlord, chef, bottling operative and radio presenter. Set 2 features a fire crew, hairdresser, farmer, fisherman, comedian and Samaritans.

Don’t Flush Your Life Away – Set 1

Don’t Flush Your Life Away – Set 2

The first settings to display the posters were public houses. That was followed by uptake among police stations, GP practices, local authority and NHS offices. Now you might see them in theaters, clubs and other workplaces.

Look out for these posters. Talk about them to your friends and colleagues. Take a note of the Samaritans number. Please help to keep the conversation going. We would welcome requests for A4 posters if you are able to display them.

Please place orders through this email address:  And if you do display them and are able to provide any feedback to the same address, that would also be appreciated.


About the Author

Simon, Research & Information Officer, Amethyst, Community Safety Team

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