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Saxelby launches campaign to end male suicide.
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Former Nottinghamshire bowler Kevin Saxelby has teamed up with the Professional Cricketers’ Association to help prevent male suicide, in memory of his brother Mark who lost his battle to depression in October 2000.
Saxelby has produced specially adapted posters which have now been distributed across the changing rooms of all 18 first-class counties to raise awareness and to add another mechanism of support to current players.
The posters are embedded with an NFC chip and QR code meaning anyone with a smart phone can gain instant access to the PCA Confidential Helpline or support via email or thepca.co.uk.
Launching the campaign, the 59-year-old believes if something similar existed back in 2000, his brother’s suicide could have been prevented.
“We want people to see this campaign and realise that someone does care for them and they do matter,” Saxelby said.
“It’s a campaign in Mark’s memory and something I’ve always wanted to do.
“Mark had everything going for him, he could do anything he wanted with his life and that’s why it’s all so sad.”
“I believe that if we had this campaign, this instantly accessible helpline, it could have saved his life.”
The ‘You Do Matter’ campaign is just one indication of the mental health support offered by the PCA’s Personal Development and Welfare programme which recently teamed up with Mind to deliver workshops to educate academy players their mental health.
As well as this, the PCA re-launched their Stress Free App for all members to access which was introduced as a proactive resource to aid the health and wellbeing of PCA members. This further engagement from the PCA has only heightened the focus on positive mental health following PCA’s initial introduction of the Confidential Helpline in 2005 and the Mind Matters campaign which started in 2012.
Despite more cricketers discussing their mental health, Saxelby believes the macho image of the sport can sometimes deter people from speaking out and has urged people to not suffer in silence with the addition of this mobile download.
“I just hope people look at this, use this and every cricketer has it on their phone,” Saxelby added.
“Sometimes in sport, players have this macho image where they feel like they can’t discuss this, they hide it.
“With Mark you wouldn’t have known, he was a happy-go-lucky guy and sometimes you don’t realise when someone is struggling.
“This is there as an option to help those in need.”
View the ‘You Do Matter’ poster below.