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SPORTS STARS TACKLE MEN’S RELUNCTANCE TO SEEK HELP WITH NEW LIFELINE CAMPAIGN
Monday, 16 July 2012
Leading sports personalities are asking men facing problems to seek immediate help and support by ringing Lifeline 0808 808 8000, the regional crisis counselling helpline service.
Heartfelt messages have been recorded by football, Gaelic football and rugby stars as part of a new radio advertising campaign Lifeline aimed at men, as well as women who have an influence in their lives.
The Contact– organised campaign is being supported by the Health Minister Edwin Poots MLA and Sports Minister Carál Ní Chuilín MLA to highlight the need for men to seek help in times of crisis by using the free, 24/7 helpline service (www.lifelinehelpline.info).
Former Irish rugby international David Humphreys, GAA star Peter Canavan and Northern Ireland football coach Michael O’Neill are all generously supporting the campaign. Their adverts let men know that asking for help is the first step to dealing positively with whatever difficult situation they are facing. The radio campaign will air periodically on Talksport radio and other independent radio stations from June through to the autumn.
Speaking at the recent launch of the campaign, David Humphreys said: “I’m sure that I speak for many sportspeople who have all probably had some experience of knowing someone who has taken their own lives – whether it’s been a friend or family member, a colleague or a supporter.
“Men should not view asking for help as a failure, but rather it is the right thing to do, for the right reasons, any time. I would urge everyone to note the helpline number, 0808 808 8000, and use it when help is needed.”
Health Minister Edwin Poots said: “Using sport to get this message across is an ideal way of connecting with men. The involvement of some of our most well known sports personalities will help encourage more men to seek help when they experience emotional problems.”
Sports Minister Carál Ní Chuilín added: “I firmly believe that sport, and indeed arts and culture generally, are important vehicles for raising awareness of the seriousness of suicide and self–harm in the community.