Rugby star Dan Carter has been showing his support to an important mental health campaign this week, focusing around the high suicide rate in young men.
Taking to his twitter account, the infamous All Black shared a snap of himself giving the ‘OK’ symbol, accompanied by a pledge to raise awareness for male suffering.
“The single biggest killer of men aged under 45 is suicide! In 2014, 4623 men took their own life. That’s 12 men everyday, one man every 2 hours,” Dan wrote.
“41% of men who contemplated suicide felt they couldn’t talk about their feelings. Only 20% of the U.K. know that suicide is the most likely cause of death for men under 45. Let’;s show men all across the world that #ITSOKAYTOTALK.
“Take a selfie with the OK sign, tag 5 friends and let’s get the message out that it’s okay to talk. Hopefully together we can bring these numbers down.”
Other celebrities who have got on board with the campaign include Harry Potter’s Mathew Lewis (Neville Longbottom) and English rugby player Jonny Wilkinson, who shared their own photos.
The initiative was started by rugby player Luke Ambler, from Halifax, England, after his beloved brother-in-law committed suicide.
He set up Andy’s Man Club in his local area – a group to encourage men to talk about how they feel and what might be getting them down.
Writing on his webpage, Luke said: “"This is Andy Roberts. A loving and doting father, son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin and friend. He was a great footballer and loved playing with his friends on a weekend. He was an all round top guy, one of the truly nicest people I have had the pleasure of meeting.
"As a youngster, he was known to have frequent run ins with the law but as an adult this had changed. He had become this polite, caring, funny young man with a whole life ahead of him. The way he had changed his life round was staggering to see and an absolute pleasure. His love for his daughter was inspirational to see and the way he looked at her and idolised her was a blessing.
“Sadly and tragically, without any warning Andrew was taken away from all his family and friends by suicide.”
In the wake of this, Luke set up Andy’s Man Club, which helps men in the area deal with their troubles. It’s been so successful they are looking to add to their staff counsellor, a solicitor who can give advice to those struggling with parenting issues, debts or money problems, an anger management counsellor and even Taekwondo instructor.
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