Published Monday 16 September 2019 at 14:58
Blackburn Rovers helped cap off a busy week of suicide prevention activity in the borough at their match against Millwall at Ewood Park on Saturday (September 14.)
Following Blackburn with Darwen Council’s public vigil on Tuesday, September 10, the football club followed suit by taking Saturday’s home match as an opportunity to further raise awareness to its supporters.
Rovers included key messages in their matchday programme, website, social media channels and over the PA system and video screen to fans in the ground.
The local activity around World Suicide Prevention Day was designed to amplify a year-long programme of events, activities, training opportunities and suicide awareness raising in the borough.
Blackburn Rovers Community Trust’s community dance coach Jen Calvert was also instrumental in wowing the crowd with a flash mob dance performance during the vigil outside the town hall.
Jen helped to coordinate a routine performed by local substance misuse provider CGL set to Emeli Sandé’s song ‘Shine’ – which closed out the event in an uplifting manner.
In the UK suicide is the leading cause of death of young people under 35 and the leading cause of death of men under 45. In Blackburn with Darwen between 2016/18, 23 men and 14 women took their own life.
Suicide prevention has been one of Blackburn with Darwen Council’s key corporate campaigns to support over the past year given the growing awareness of this vitally important issue both locally and nationally.
Councillor Damian Talbot, Executive Member for Health and Wellbeing, said:
Rovers’ supporter base is wide-reaching and it’s fantastic they could share the messages around Word Suicide Prevention Day out to all the fans in the ground and supporters online. After the success of the vigil last week It feels like there’s a real momentum behind all of our collective efforts to support this vitally important agenda. Collectively we can build momentum and spread the message that you’re not alone, there is hope and lots of local and national services that can help.