Thursday 10 September is World Suicide Prevention Day. Spirit of Shankly are pleased to be working alongside LFC Foundation, Red Neighbours and Spion Kop 1906 in raising awareness of mental health.
At any given time one in four of us is affected by mental health problems. Yet still there are too many who feel, or are made to feel, isolated, ashamed and worthless as a result.
On average, 13 people in England take their own life every day – eight of them male. Suicide is the biggest killer among men under 50 and the leading cause of death in young people.
Nowhere is this more acutely highlighted than in the demographic of football fans. Mostly men, the majority aged 25 to 35.
This is the most vulnerable group to mental ill health. Yet we don’t talk to our mates about how we are feeling at the match, in the pub, anywhere. And the effects aren’t solitary. When one person dies up to 60 people are directly affected.
We can know people are struggling but we might only see them at the match, unaware of what’s happening in their lives from one week to the next. Football is often their only escape, then the next game we don’t see them…
SOS have a commitment to highlight mental health issues. Now with the pandemic, lockdown, isolation, football behind closed doors with the prospect of only a limited return to grounds in the near future, it seems the ideal time to open up to mental health; to talk and to listen.
We can all make a difference.