Head in the Game suicide prevention programme

Over the past 10 weeks Rotherham United Community Sports Trust ran a programme aimed at suicide prevention. The programme targeted vulnerable adults in the Rotherham community with the aim of providing the support needed to help them live life to the fullest.

The project ran due to funding from Public Health Rotherham and Bupa UK Foundation, each session ran for two hours split into one hour of football and one-hour workshop with speakers coming from organization’s such as Samaritans, Mind, Change Grow Live and Citizens advice. Each talk offered support and advice on multiple problems these adults have experienced and are vulnerable to in their life. The talks included drug and alcohol problems, combating suicidal thoughts and debt management.

The programme attracted 9 people to sign up, from this original number we had 6 sign up to a two-night residential trip to the Derbyshire countryside. Taking part in activities such as weaseling and rock climbing as well as social activities such as budgeting for the trip and undertaking a food shop to last the trips duration, something that these participants aren’t used to doing.

Trudi Race RUCST Mental health office said ‘Suicide rates amongst men is a national problem, the funding we received has helped a small group of local men who have been affected by suicide to become more aware of the support services that are out there should they need to access them. As part of the project the men are also running a 5 a side football tournament to raise awareness of how important it is for men to speak up about their feelings”

This course has been a success with a number of participants receiving the support and help needed, one participant had been marked as an excessive drinker and dependent on alcohol, however this trip gave him respite from drinking and allowed him to see the benefits that come from cutting down the alcohol consumption. Motivating him to cut down his drinking to a moderate level. Other positive changes were made by a number of participants during the course, one person accessed the Samaritans support system and has been able to stay in consistent contact with them, helping his mental well-being. Two accessed Working Wins, with one accepted onto their charity programme, this provides the participant the support and tools needed to return to work. The Citizens advice team have got in contact with another participant and regularly give him advice on debt management.

The feedback received from the course is that the participants now feel like they have more confidence in accessing help and reaching out to the support services. Which has helped leading to these making positive changes in their life.

The group have organised a 5-a-side suicide prevention football festival taking place on Sunday 11thAugust, with a start time of 10am. The tournament will be running at Parkgate Astro, S62 6HQ.

A review of the of the programme and the residential can be found here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjEt392LvLc

For more information on the football tournament or other Mental Health activities contact Trudi Race on 01709 827767 or email trace@rotherhamunited.net.