‘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)
  • 12.5% 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.

The campaign was launched in time for Suicide Prevention Day on Saturday 10 September 2016. Suicide continues to be three times more common in men than in women. It is also the single most common cause of death in men under 45.

In early 2016 Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust developed the campaign, in partnership with Coventry and Warwickshire Mind, Unite the Union, Samaritans, Time to Change and sporting venues including Wasps Rugby Club, Blaze Ice Hockey Club and Coventry City Football Club’s charity, Sky Blues in the Community. See all our partners here.

Since the launch the campaign team has attended professional and amateur football, rugby and ice hockey and other sporting matches at venues including the Ricoh and Sky Dome.

Alex Cotton, Mental Health Nurse and Campaign Coordinator at our Trust said: “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.”

“It Takes Balls to Talk is about reaching out to men and the people who care about them, to promote positive mental health. We want people to have positive conversations about mental health, inspired by this campaign.”

Steven Hill, Director of Coventry and Warwickshire Mind said: “This is an exciting, innovative opportunity for us to use sporting venues, as a means to engaging people, particularly men, in conversations about their mental health and wellbeing.”

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