Andy’s Man Club has been set up to directly confront the biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK, suicide.
According to a 2016 report by Samaritans which looked at data up until 2014, the rate of male suicide incidents are up to four times higher than women.
The most common reason for prematurely ending the life of a young man in this country is himself and the Club has been set up to provide a place where men can talk about their thoughts and feelings in order to save lives.
Andy’s Man Club was established in the UK when Andy Roberts from Halifax took his own life. His brother-in-law, professional sportsman Luke Ambler wanted to do everything in his power to prevent other families from suffering such tragic and devastating loss. Now there are fifteen clubs around the UK and the Hull Club is run by Leon McQuade and Faz Balouchi with the help of their former rugby teammates and coaches.
Leon McQuade says:
“Once I heard about Andy’s Man Club, I knew I had to be involved as I have close friends battling with mental health issues and my own former rugby coach, Roy Bennett sadly took his own life.”
“Along with my former team mates, we wanted to provide a place to just talk in a comfortable environment. The first question we are always asked is who is the club aimed at – it’s any man who is going through a storm, has been through a storm, or is coming out of one. Or, any man who just wants to come along and meet a good group of people with the aim of improving each other, it really is that simple.”
“Our vision is to halve the number of suicides in men. I know that’s a massive task, but it’s something to strive for. Even if we only manage to prevent one man from committing suicide – we will have done something amazing.”
“Working alongside Luke Ambler and Andy’s Mother, Elaine Roberts in Halifax, we are helping to raise awareness and build a support network for any man that is struggling with his mental health.”
“We’ve all heard the phrase “man up” which is the most destructive and toxic phrase a man can have bestowed upon him. This phrase can force men to cover up the cracks and ‘just get on with it’ rather than dealing with the issues they head towards. On many occasions this leads to feeling helpless and alone and the only option they see is to end it all.”
“The fact is, men are much less likely to talk about their problems with friends and relatives and quite often, family members hadn’t known their loved one was at such a loss. It is common in these circumstances to feel like a burden, or to be showing weakness.”
“We want to remove these barriers to help men understand that it’s okay to talk and it’s ok to be vulnerable. I read a great quote that by Dr Brené Brown who explains it more eloquently than I ever could. She said ‘There is nothing weak about vulnerability. On the contrary, it sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness’.”
“We are also pleased that employers and mental health professionals are pointing people towards us as we are becoming recognised as a valuable support network.”
“We have on average thirty-five members here each week but we accept that all of this can seem overwhelming to anyone that needs to talk, but I can assure potential members that we don’t force anything on you, all you have to do it turn up, the rest is up to you.”
“Andy’s Man Club Hull is a positive place without judgement for men to talk. The Group is FREE To attend and sponsorship from Airco and Profound make it possible. We meet every Monday night at Airco Business Lounge on Goulton Street in Hull, arriving at 6:30pm to sit down with a brew and biscuit at 7pm.”
In addition to the Monday night meetings, Andy’s Man Club Hull has a running team and a variety of events in the pipeline.
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