Veterans have goal of kicking out male suicide

Malton Veterans will host the seven-a-side competition on Sunday, June 2
Malton Veterans will host the seven-a-side competition on Sunday, June 2

Malton Veterans Football Club, supported by Malton Community Sports Centre, will be hosting a seven-a-side tournament in support of men’s mental health next month.

Up to 12 teams from across the north of England will be taking part in the event on Sunday, June 2, dedicated to raising awareness of the issue of male suicide.

Tournament organiser Steve Mason said: “This is an issue close to my heart and became part of my life last year when a close friend of 30 years took his life.

“We don’t know why and to this day all around him wish we were better informed at spotting potential problems.

“Malton Veterans FC was established in 2014 to give an opportunity for those players who want to continue playing football without getting the run around by kids, there is a thriving veterans football culture in Yorkshire with established teams across the county.

“We have been raising money for over five years for various causes including kids charities and this year decided to focus on men’s mental health and are supporting local charity Next Steps.”

Leisa Burniston, manager at Next Steps in Norton, said: “This is a great opportunity to come together before the event where over 50 men will be present to ‘tackle’ the stigma of mental health and talk openly amongst each other whilst raising understanding and awareness of mental health issues including male suicide.

“Poor mental health for anyone can be devastating but increasingly so in men, it can be fatal.

“The veterans FC is an amazing way of keeping your mind and body healthy, and also help to support good mental health.”

Jay Rowley, Manager, Malton Community Sports Centre, said: “Awareness of men’s mental health, from the struggles people face to the support available, is finally becoming prominent in our modern day understanding of health and wellbeing.

“I have personal experience of the ‘dark periods’ that effect many men throughout the world, and I found knowledge, understanding and support hard to come by when I needed it most – I was fortunate that I have a good network of friends and family who helped me when I was in need.”