Keighley Cougars are pleased to announce its support of Bradford Metropolitan District Council’s Check In With Your Mate campaign.

Launched to mark Mental Health Awareness Week, the Cougars and other professional sporting organisations across the district – including Bradford Bulls, Bradford City AFC and Yorkshire County Cricket Club – are backing the campaign, focused on male suicide prevention. 

It aims to kickstart conversations around mental health and suicide, particularly among men.

Figures show 132 deaths from suicide were registered between 2019 and 2021 in Bradford – with 76 per cent of these people male. 

Plans include sharing the campaign’s messages and graphics inside the University of Bradford Stadium, with interviews with first team players and a dedicated fixture to be held at Valley Parade next season.

The campaign has been developed by the West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership’s (WY HCP) suicide prevention programme.

Jess Parker, programme manager for WY HCP, said: “Every suicide is one too many and has a catastrophic and rippling effect on those left behind. 

“We know that suicide rates tend to rise in times of economic downturn, and that a growing number of people are experiencing poverty and financial exclusion. 

“We believe all suicides are preventable.

“It is so important to just reach out and have those conversations with men – and women – at home, at work and in the community. It might just save a life.”

Ryan Anderton, founder of It’s Worth Talking About, said: “Especially with men, our role models tend to be sports people, pop stars, that sort of personality we can look up to.

“Having the footballers, rugby players and cricket players able to encourage other men to speak out sends out a really powerful message that if they are willing to say it is ok to talk, hopefully others will try to listen.”

For full details on Check In With Your Mate, and to access support via West Yorkshire’s Suicide Prevention resource, please CLICK HERE

If you need help urgently, call the Samaritans on 116 123 or Bradford’s First Response on 0800 952 1181. If someone is in immediate danger, call 999.