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07th Sep 2023

Movember turns empty season ticket seats into a powerful message for World Suicide Prevention Day

Callum Boyle


Research reveals 59 per cent of men don’t know how to spot the main signs of depression  

Movember have partnered with Rotherham United and Darlington FC to send out a powerful message ahead of World Suicide Prevention Day on Sunday September 10.

Rotherham and Darlington are the two areas with the highest male suicide rates in the UK and to raise awareness, have turned empty season ticket seats into a message saying: Where’s My Mate?’ to act as a reminder for people to check in on their males friends and loved ones.


The campaign is part of a wider initiative known as ‘Sport the Signs’ which has been created to educate men on how to spot early signs of mental health problems – such as uncharacteristically missing a game.

Research revealed that 59 per cent of men don’t know how to spot the main signs of depression while 65 per cent of men in the UK admitted that they would keep it to themselves if they were struggling despite 48 per cent saying that speaking to loved ones helped their mental health.

Things are slowly, but surely, improving however after 68 per cent of men felt that it is easier to talk about their mental well-being than it was 20 years ago with research also finding that informal environments, such as at the pub, or watching a football game, is a time when most men said they’d be most comfortable checking in with a friend. 

According to data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS), in the UK, three out of four suicides are men, and it remains the leading cause of death amongst men aged between 20 and 34. Psychological research suggests that dominant masculine stereotypes that prevent men feeling like they can’t talk openly about their feelings play a large contributing factor to this.

Movember is aiming to spread awareness of the key signs that can indicate that a male friend may be in need and encourage men that if they spot a mate whose behaviour is out of character – don’t ignore it, reach out.  

Some of the key behavioural signs they’ve advised people to look out for are:

  • A normally laid-back friend appears a bit on edge 
  • The usual ‘group chat king’ has gone quiet 
  • A football-loving or sporty friend missed a game or session
  • The sociable, party-loving friend goes quiet and no longer wants to do anything 

As well as these key signs, there is also a technique called ALEC (Ask, Listen, Encourage Action, Check-In) to help equip people to reach out to loved-ones. 

For more information on Movember’s Sport the Signs campaign, and access support tools on checking in with friends, please visit