Football network launches online campaign to tackle young male suicide

The suicide support charity Maytree is working with Copa90 to encourage men to talk about their mental health

Maytree, a charity that provides support for those thinking of suicide, has teamed up with the youth football network Copa90 to create an awareness campaign to help tackle suicide among young men.

Copa90 has created two online films to encourage men to talk about their mental health rather than remaining silent, with the underlying message that communication saves lives.

One film features the ex-footballer Leon McKenzie opening up about his battle with depression, his attempted suicide and how he got through it. In other films, football fans who have lost friends and loved ones share their experiences.

Suicide is the most common cause of death for men aged 20 to 49 in the UK according to data from the Office for National Statistics, and 5,668 suicides were recorded in the UK in 2016, 75 per cent of which were men.

Natalie Howarth, director of Maytree, said: "The aim of this campaign is not only to highlight the issue of suicide among young men, but also to reassure them that they are not alone in their suicidal thoughts. Maytree is here to support people, but more importantly you can support your mates. It really is good to talk."

The project came together after Copa90 was approached by Innocean Worldwide, Hyundai Motor Company's global advertising division, which had worked with the football network before.

The campaign will run across the Copa90 network from this week.

James Kirkham, head of Copa90, added: "Football has the power to transcend culture, heal division and unite society. In fact it is the one language the world can understand. For this reason alone, an association between Maytree and Copa90 is a natural fit. But over and beyond that, we are proud to be able to produce work like this to support Maytree's incredible work."

This article was first published by our sister publication, Campaign

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