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About Us

‘It Takes Balls to Talk’ is a campaign which uses sporting themes to encourage people, particularly men, to talk about how they feel.

So why are we focusing on men? 

Suicide is the biggest cause of death in men under the age of 45

Over three quarters of people who kill themselves are male (Reference: ONS)

5% of men in the UK are suffering from one of the common mental health disorders, for example, anxiety or depression.

Mental health issues can affect anyone and can be caused by a number of factors, including bereavement, unemployment, finance and debt issues, family and relationship problems, social isolation, low self-esteem, drug and alcohol issues and many other personal factors.

an Introduction from our founder

I would like to thank you for visiting our website. It is a privilege to welcome you to our community resource which seeks to support men and those that care about them. A little bit of history. “ItTakes Balls To Talk” was an initial idea of mine back in 2015. Having worked inside the NHS mental health services for over twenty years I then went to work alongside West Midlands Police as a Street Triage Nurse (a mental health nurse that responds to mental health emergencies with the police). It was here I recognised the distressing statistic that 75% of men who have taken their own lives had not had any contact with mental health services. It was at a match at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry, on Boxing Day 2015 when I thought that we could highlight the importance of mental health in men using sport as a vehicle. My solution would enable men to know where to get support for low mood mental health, and stress issues and thus “It Takes Balls To Talk” was born! I hope you agree that it does what it says on the tin! It is tough to talk about your mental health and if you are visiting our page to find support for you or someone else, we are reaching our goal!  

One size doesn’t fit all but we can provide you with a range of services that are here to support you to overcome times of crisis and maintain positive emotional fitness. On our Get Help page if you hover over the icons of services you’ll receive a practical description of how they can support you. However, if you are in immediate danger please contact 999 or 111.

I’m proud to say that we are made up of a collaboration between Coventry Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust CWPT. Coventry & Warwickshire Mind, Think Active, Public Health Coventry and Warwickshire and Unite the Union. All of whom without their support it would not have been possible to have made such an impact within our local area.

We are now offering our experience and services including training and physical materials to reach out and hold events in other areas.  Our journey has taught us so much from what works well, what doesn’t, when to obtain help, where and  why.  “It Takes Balls To Talk” can make a significant difference in your area so please get in touch and make talking matter.  

Dr Alex Cotton  MBE, Hon DSc Warwick University

Founder of It Takes Balls to Talk


For the latest statistics and myths on suicide, click here.


WASPS support It Takes Balls To Talk

It can be difficult to talk about mental health and we hope that the campaign will help men understand it is important not to keep their feelings to themselves

Dr Alex Cotton, MBE, Mental Health Nurse and Founder of It Takes Balls To Talk

Contact Us

Coventry Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust


Wilsons Lane



Help us to promote positive mental health and save someone's life.