Sheffield ex-presenter who lost his son unites city football clubs on mental health

5 May 2022

A  Sheffield ex-journalist believes more awareness still needs to be raised about men’s mental health.

In light of this, Mike McCarthy has successfully created a partnership of two rival football clubs in Sheffield, who are in support of promoting men’s well-being.

On Monday, Sheffield Wednesday announced that it would follow in Sheffield United’s footsteps to open a male-exclusive mental health support hub in Hillsborough stadium.

The project is in partnership with Talk Club, a nationwide charity that provides a safe, non-judgemental and private space for men to talk.

A group of men sharing their thoughts.

Mr McCarthy, a former TV journalist who campaigned to make this Sheffield partnership happen, is delighted.
He said: “Bringing together the two rivals for a cause more important than football sends a powerful message.”

Though this is a huge step in the fight, suicide is still the biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK, according to Talk Club.

In society, men are not often encouraged to open up, but are instead told to ‘man up’ whenever they have emotions.

Mr McCarthy said: “This is such an old and outdated term, it was everything wrong with masculinity. The world has changed and men have changed, and they can’t address the problem until we accept men to express themselves.”

Mr McCarthy started his campaign after he lost his son to depression. Ross McCarthy was just 31 when he took his own  life.

Ross had suffered from depression for over 10 years.

He was told to wait for six months for his therapy session, but struggled with the wait and ended his life two weeks later.

Mr McCarthy said: “If suicide is the biggest killer, the “cancer of the mind”, why did he need to wait for six months to get treated? Suicide won’t discriminate, it will take anyone.”

Mr McCarthy and other organisers sitting in Hillsborough Stadium.

The Hillsborough branch will be the second Talk Club branch in northern England.

In order to make the service as accessible as possible, men in the area are encouraged to turn up with no need to book.

Gavin Thorpe, co-founder and co-CEO of Talk Club, said: “We believe that every man needs this (club) because we need to maintain our mental fitness and keep talking.”

Click here if you want to learn more about the initiative.

 

 

Written by Helen Hui

My name is Helen (she/her), and I am an aspiring journalist in the University of Sheffield who was born and raised in Hong Kong. As an ethnic minority I want to raise awareness of underrepresented groups in our society and reveal social injustice. One of my greatest goals is to travel around to explore what is happening in different countries. Often the news we see only covers a small fraction of our world, which leads to misunderstanding, prejudice and stereotypes. I would like to share my experiences and provide a brand-new point of view of this world we live in. Besides, I am fond of pop cultures, such as current beauty trends, music and celebrities. I am also a big fan of photography, film especially.

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Written by Helen Hui

My name is Helen (she/her), and I am an aspiring journalist in the University of Sheffield who was born and raised in Hong Kong. As an ethnic minority I want to raise awareness of underrepresented groups in our society and reveal social injustice. One of my greatest goals is to travel around to explore what is happening in different countries. Often the news we see only covers a small fraction of our world, which leads to misunderstanding, prejudice and stereotypes. I would like to share my experiences and provide a brand-new point of view of this world we live in. Besides, I am fond of pop cultures, such as current beauty trends, music and celebrities. I am also a big fan of photography, film especially.
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