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NEWS: CCFC and SBitC links with Coventry and District Samaritans for campaign encouraging men to seek help

10 October 2019

Coventry City Football Club and Sky Blues in the Community are linking with Coventry District Samaritans to support the Real People, Real Stories campaign for World Suicide Prevention Day/World Mental Health Day.

The campaign aims to encourage men to seek help by sharing the stories from men who have overcome difficult times with support from others.

A survey by Samaritans found that two in five (41%) men in England, Scotland and Wales aged 20-59 do not seek support when they need to, because they prefer to solve their problems themselves. This group includes men who are most at risk of suicide.

The campaign includes the stories of several men who have overcome tough times, to encourage others to seek help by calling Samaritans 24/7 free on 116 123 or visiting

David Busst, Head of Sky Blues in the Community, said: “At Coventry City Football Club, we take the mental wellbeing of our supporters, players and staff incredibly seriously and we’re delighted to be able to raise awareness of Samaritans’ Real People, Real Stories campaign for World Suicide Prevention Day/ World Mental Health Day.

"We hope all those connected with the club will take a moment to watch and share these powerful stories and contact Samaritans’ national helpline or the local Coventry and District branch if they need someone to listen.”

Ex-Sky Blues striker and professional boxer, Leon McKenzie, who supports the campaign, said: “I know how tough it gets when you’re in that dark place. I’ve been there, not wanting to exist anymore. By sharing my story and supporting the campaign, I hope other men understand that you can climb back up with some help. It’s so important to seek help early on and Samaritans are here to listen.”

Trevor Montague, Director at Coventry Samaritans said: “We know men can sometimes find it really hard to admit they are having trouble coping and can be reluctant to seek help, and we want to say that at Coventry branch we do our best to make it easy to get in touch with Samaritans and talk to a volunteer. We are here to take calls 24/7 free on 116 123.”

Although the survey by Samaritans also found that 78% of men say it’s OK to admit you’re not feeling OK, many still avoid speaking out when they’re finding life tough. A quarter of men (25%) felt their problems weren’t important enough to warrant calling a helpline.

Almost 3 in 10 men (29%) said loneliness and isolation had made them feel low in the past.

Find out more about Real People, Real Stories at:

You can also support by following the campaign @samaritanscharity on Instagram or sharing the video on Twitter @samaritans or Facebook at, using the hashtag #RealPeopleRealStories. 

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