9 September 2019


Rugby players join forces with Movember to tackle rising male suicide rates
Mental Health

Every minute, somewhere in the world, a man dies by suicide. That’s 80 sons, husbands, brothers and fathers for every 80-minute game of the Rugby World Cup 2019.
In the UK three out of four suicides are by men and 12 men take their life every day - more than 4,300 each year. New ONS statistics have revealed the recent increase in suicide rates in the UK was largely driven by an increase among men, who took their own lives at a rate of 17.2 per 100,000, compared with 15.5 in 2017.
That’s why for World Suicide Prevention Day on Tuesday September 10, Movember has joined forces with some of rugby’s biggest global stars to encourage men to start talking to one another about challenges in their life, and about their mental health.
In the world of professional contact sports, men are stereotypically seen as big, strong and able to handle anything - but anyone can struggle with their mental health.
During the Rugby World Cup in Japan, the top sides in the world will battle it out in 48 gruelling test matches. During that match-time, around the world 3,840 men will be lost to suicide.
Movember wants to tackle male suicide rates by encouraging more men to open up to their mates if they’re struggling.
According to new research, men would most commonly talk to their friends if they were finding it hard to cope with personal problems.
Figures released by Movember to coincide with World Suicide Prevention Day reveals the most common group that men could talk to If they were having personal problems that were difficult to cope with, is their friends. 58 per cent of British men would most commonly talk to their mates, while only half of men (50 per cent) would tell their partner, and 50 per cent would confide in a family member – showing what a crucial outlet friendship is.
But a quarter (25%) of men say they would unlikely to talk with someone if they were having problems they were finding it hard to cope with, showing many men still don’t turn to their mates even when they need them most.
Recruiting rugby players George North (Wales), Dylan Hartley (England), Shane Byrne (Ireland), James Horwill (Australia) and Sean Fitzpatrick (New Zealand), Movember has created a powerful video to inspire men to talk about the tough stuff.
The video encourages blokes to use the half-time break in each game of the Rugby World Cup as an opportunity to talk to a friend.

Rather than toughing it out on your own, chatting to a mate about something you’re struggling with can make a world of difference.”
~ Sean Fitzpatrick, 92-Test All Black legend


The players also filmed an additional video: Minutes, which highlights rising male suicide rates.

Today on World Suicide Prevention Day, Movember is encouraging men to be a man of more words. For more information visit Movember.com/talk.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, or needs emotional support please contact Samaritans on 116 123.
If life is in danger, call 999 or go directly to emergency services.