Warwickshire mental health campaign ‘It Takes Balls to Talk’ wins award

Officials from the It Takes Balls to Talk campaign accept their award
Officials from the It Takes Balls to Talk campaign accept their award

A mental health campaign has won an award for the work it does to help men in Coventry and Warwickshire.

‘It Takes Balls to Talk’ won the Wellbeing Award at this year’s Birmingham, Coventry and Warwickshire Sports Awards for the work they have done to support men with mental health issues.

The campaign, which is run by Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust (CWPT), uses sporting themes to encourage people, particularly men, to talk about how they feel.

Since it started in 2016, it has already helped more than a thousand men across the region.

Alex Cotton MBE, Mental Health Team Manager at the Trust, who founded the campaign, said: “I was in shock when they announced us as the winner.

"As we were against so many worthy causes, we really didn’t expect to the win the award. It is a real honour that the staff who work tirelessly to make it a success have been recognised.

“We started the campaign with the aim of helping men in sporting clubs, who were suffering with mental health, speak up and seek help.

"In three years, we have provided people with help and advice when they need it most, and this award helps to highlight some the amazing work it does.”

Mental health issues can affect anyone and can be caused by a number of factors, including bereavement, unemployment, finance and debt issues, family and relationship problems, social isolation, low self-esteem, drug and alcohol issues and many other personal factors.

Suicide continues to be three times more common in men than in women. It is also the single most common cause of death in men under 45.

CWPT developed the campaign, in partnership with Coventry and Warwickshire Mind, Unite the Union, Samaritans, Time to Change and sporting venues including Wasps Rugby Club, Blaze Ice Hockey Club and Coventry City Football Club’s charity, Sky Blues in the Community. Since the launch the campaign team has attended professional and amateur football, rugby and ice hockey and other sporting matches at venues including the Ricoh and Sky Dome.

For more information about the campaign visit: www.ittakesballstotalk.com