The county’s two main football clubs have joined forces to support a groundbreaking suicide prevention campaign, which urges people to ask openly about suicide if they are worried that someone may be at risk.
Despite the rivalry on the pitch, Peterborough United and Cambridge United are standing together to help raise awareness of the charity-led, STOP Suicide campaign.
The award-winning campaign is led by Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and South Lincolnshire (CPSL) Mind in partnership with Lifecraft, and supported by local NHS and local authority teams.
Peterborough United club captain, Jack Baldwin and Cambridge United club captain, Gary Deegan, were photographed side-by-side holding the STOP Suicide I’d Ask pledge cards at the Abbey Stadium.
The clubs’ support comes in the same week as the launch of STOP Suicide’s latest campaign phase. This includes high-profile campaign resources targeted at people living and working across Peterborough and Cambridgeshire, using a powerful film, direct radio and bus advertising, community roadshows, and real people’s stories shared online.
Baldwin said: “This is an incredibly important message to get across and it’s great that we can work closely with Cambridge United to raise awareness. Bottling emotions up can be really dangerous, this is a subject that can affect anyone and we want to try and take it away from being a taboo subject.”
Ben Szreter of Cambridge United Community Trust, added: “We were delighted to be asked to support the STOP Suicide campaign alongside Peterborough United. This important issue transcends football rivalries. We hope that between our two clubs we can in some small part help with the prevention of suicide in Cambridgeshire by standing together to encourage people to ask about suicide.”
Central to the campaign is the STOP Suicide Pledge, which invites people to sign up to talking more openly about suicide and to seek help if they are struggling. To date, more than 1400 individual and over 50 organisations, including the two football clubs, have signed up. Pledge your support online at stopsuicidepledge.org and encourage others to do the same by sharing on social media using the hashtags #IdAsk and #STOPSuicide
STOP Suicide campaign makers will be at Saturday's fixture with Port Vale at The Abbey Stadium to engage with supporters and provide potentially life-saving resources.
For more information and to access advice, including 24-hour support via the NHS First Response Service, by dialling 111 option 2, visit: stopsuicidepledge.org/help-now/