15 Square is a UK charity operating nationwide supporting men who have been damaged either physically or psychologically by circumcision and advising men who want to avoid unnecessary circumcision. We hold support meetings and events for those who have been psychologically affected. We also have medical advice available for parents, carers and those seeking information. We give talks and have been featured in documentaries and radio programmes.
How does your organisation contribute to preventing suicide and supporting those affected by it?
Our ambassador Lesley Roberts, whose son took his own life at 23, has devoted her life to raising awareness about this issue. She published a book entitled ‘A is for Alex’ featuring details of how circumcision had permanently changed her son’s life. We are also working with members of the psychology department of a local university to help develop resources for mental health support workers and have recently participated in a research project exploring male mental health. We are also trying to raise awareness of this subject through social media.
What are your current priorities?
Our priorities are to maintain our current level of activities and develop them further including more research and awareness and improved support services for men.
What challenges are you currently facing?
We deal with a difficult subject where the damage caused by circumcision has until recently not been acknowledged by either the medical profession or mental health professionals. As a result it has been difficult for men to talk about this issue. They face shame, ridicule and dismissal. Our main challenge is to open the conversation and to improve support.