10 Sep 2019 in News
This week we want to raise awareness of the subject of suicide and trying to bring national attention to our campaign.
The idea came about from a conversation with Sharon Holt, sister of our very own Mark Bradshaw. Sharon spoke to us about the issue as she sadly lost her son, Robert, 4 years ago, at the age of 35. Around this time last year, Curzon was playing an away match and Sharon began to think about the role football clubs could and should be playing in highlighting this issue.
In 2017, nearly 6000 suicides occurred in the UK – that’s one death by suicide every 2 hours. Sadly, we have seen a significant increase from this number since then. Suicide is the leading cause of death amongst young people aged 20-34 and it is considerably higher in men, with around three times as many deaths from suicide compared to women. Suicide is the leading cause of death in the UK for males under the age of 50. Those at higher risk are between the ages of 40 and 44 with a rate of 24.1 deaths per 100,000 in that age bracket.
One reason that men are more likely to complete suicide maybe because they are less likely to talk about depressive or suicidal feelings. Recent statistics show that between 2005 and 2015 only 27% of people who had died by suicide had been in contact with mental health services before they died.
Talking about suicide and understanding it better is necessary to help prevent further suicides in the UK.
We at Curzon Ashton believe that football can be used to help people in a variety of ways and can be a great preventative tool as well.
We will be starting our campaign to raise awareness of this issue on today with both Sharon and Andy (Cheshire) heading along to Tameside Radio (1pm slot) talk about our plans for the week and to tell people about Marc’s story and the effects it has had on her and the extended family.
Then each day between then and the match we have against Brackley on Saturday 14th September, the football club will issue a different video interview with Sharon, and with Mark Bradshaw (Wednesday) – highlighting the range of emotions that suicide contributes to and the importance of talking about emotions and feelings.
When we host Brackley Saturday and will run out in a different coloured strip. The strip will be in the colour of World Suicide Prevention Day’s main ‘ribbon’ logo. This idea stemmed from the fantastic campaign Altrincham had last year to highlight LGBTQ equality and the national recognition they achieved. We hope that by wearing a different strip and sending these messages out that we will encourage other (larger) clubs to take a stance on this issue.
There is also the possibility that someone at the game may be feeling depressed or suicidal and there will be information within the matchday programme that will assist with this. Our partners, Infinity Initiatives are on board to assist in any way with free counselling and advice. Samaritans have already sent the club lots of resources to hand out at the match and to have within the matchday programme.
The Foundation has purchased these strips for the first team. A mention of thanks to our shirt sponsors who have kindly agreed to be omitted from the shirt for this occasion.
We will auction the match-worn shirts after the match against Brackley and all money raised in this auction will be split between World Suicide Prevention and our very own foundation so please keep an eye out for this.
Watch Sharon's story here: https://youtu.be/efpaSTo1C3A
If you or someone you know is struggling then please talk to someone.