Suicide is now the biggest killer of young men across the UK, a charity has warned.

The latest figures show that the suicide rate rose significantly in 2011 with a total of 6,045 people taking their own life – 4,552 of them were men.

The highest rate was in the male age bracket 30-44 and the recession is thought to be playing a part in many of the deaths.

“The reasons for suicide are complex and often very individual,” Jane Powell from the Campaign Against Living Miserably told Sky News.

“The economic climate and social factors such as insecurities around work and housing, social isolation and substance misuse are felt particularly strongly in this group.”

On average there are now three young male suicides in Britain every single day, according to CALM.

British snowboarder Nelson Pratt, from Hampshire, took his own life last summer.

His best friend Marcus Chapman has joined the charity’s new campaign aimed at raising awareness of the issue.

“Nelson was popular, healthy, successful and physically very fit,” he told Sky News. “He was an amazing guy, he had it all, he had his life mapped out.

“He went to his GP last summer when he was feeling down and was given a questionnaire and told to come back in a fortnight if he wasn’t feeling any better. The next day he took his life.

“It was devastating for everyone. How could someone so outwardly healthy have this happen to them? Men aren’t very good at telling someone how they’re feeling. By raising awareness we can get people talking.”

CALM is working with three graffiti artists in east London this weekend for 36 hours to get their message across.

Ms Powell added: “It’s hugely important that we raise awareness of male suicide. This is a huge problem now in the UK and the time has come to start talking about it.”

:: Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 08457 90 90 90 or email