Major sports clubs in Bradford have united to support a suicide prevention campaign that emphasizes the significance of men’s mental health. The “Check In With Your Mate” campaign, developed by West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership’s (WY HCP) suicide prevention program, has received backing from prominent teams such as Bradford Bulls, Keighley Cougars, Bradford City AFC, and Yorkshire Cricket.
By collaborating with their local public health team, the campaign aims to promote open discussions about mental health and suicide, with a particular focus on men.
Over the coming months, the four professional sports clubs will actively share the campaign with their fans and social media followers, leveraging their wide-reaching influence among local men to raise awareness and encourage potentially life-saving conversations among friends.
Various initiatives are planned to propagate the campaign’s vital messages and graphics. These include displaying them on big screens, pitch-side banners, and kits during matches, as well as featuring articles in match day programs and conducting video interviews with players.
To provide comprehensive support, the campaign has established a webpage at http://www.checkinwithyourmate.co.uk. The website offers advice on how to approach a friend who may be struggling and directs individuals to local specialist support services.
Cllr Sarah Ferriby, Executive Member for Healthy People and Places, expressed the importance of mental health support and emphasized the positive impact that sharing one’s feelings with others can have on well-being.
She hopes that partnering with local agencies will highlight the fact that support is available round the clock, whether through conversations with friends, colleagues, or family members.
Rose Dunlop, Consultant in Public Health, highlighted the alarming statistics surrounding suicide in Bradford. Between 2019 and 2021, there were 132 registered deaths from suicide, with a staggering 76% of these being males.
Dunlop praised the major sports teams in the district for endorsing this powerful campaign, emphasizing that talking to someone about mental health struggles is a crucial initial step toward obtaining necessary help.
To amplify the campaign’s reach, grants will be issued to the participating sports teams, enabling them to spread the message across their extensive supporter networks.
By doing so, they hope to encourage more people to prioritize checking in with their mates during critical times.
Jess Parker, Programme Manager for WY HCP’s suicide prevention program, expressed the urgency of the situation, stressing that every suicide is a tragedy with far-reaching consequences for those left behind.
Recognizing the correlation between economic downturns and rising suicide rates, Parker emphasized the need to combat this issue by adopting a zero-suicide approach.
They firmly believe that all suicides are preventable and stressed the importance of reaching out and engaging in conversations with both men and women in various settings such as homes, workplaces, and communities.
The united efforts of Bradford’s major sports clubs in supporting the “Check In With Your Mate” campaign showcase the profound impact that influential organizations can have on promoting mental health awareness and saving lives. By prioritizing men’s mental well-being and encouraging open conversations, they are setting a powerful example for the community and providing vital support to those who may be struggling.