Saints back anti-suicide campaign

Rugby star Terry Newton took his own life in 2010
Rugby star Terry Newton took his own life in 2010

Saints are backing a campaign aimed at putting a stop to suicide rates among local men.

Figures show that St Helens has the third highest suicide figure in the region.

While the overall number of deaths from suicide is regarded as low, with 19 in 2013 compared to 23 the year before, it is among 30 to 49-year-old men where the issue is most worrying.

Saints chiefs have publicly announced their support for CALM - the Campaign Against Living Miserably - and its Man Down campaign.

Man Down is aimed at encouraging men to get support when they are having a tough time, to speak up about their problems and to look out for their mates.

Saints skipper Paul Wellens said: “Being silent isn’t being strong. Rugby league is a tough sport but we’re also working hard to stay mentally fit and that includes getting help and talking, so you can perform at your peak. Trying to cope with everything on your own doesn’t work.

“I want local lads to know that CALM is there for you when you need it. If, as a sports club, we can encourage men to talk about their problems then we’ve achieved something special.”

Simon Howes, of CALM, added: “There is still a massive cultural barrier preventing men from seeking help as they are expected to just ‘man up’ and get on with it, or risk being branded weak and less masculine. The Man Down campaign aims to turn this misconception on its head.”