KEIGHLEY Cougars are backing efforts to raise awareness around suicide prevention.

At a recent home game, the rugby league club promoted the Check in With Your Mate initiative – which encourages people to talk to someone if they're feeling low.

The players wore distinctive, yellow and black campaign T-shirts for the pre-match warm up.

And information was provided in leaflets and shown on TV screens at Cougar Park.

The club was amongst a number of sports teams, charities and health organisations in the district that teamed up to mark World Suicide Prevention Day.

A range of activities has been taking place, including some spearheaded by Bradford Council’s public health team and the West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership.

A campaign website, at, includes details of support services, and features guidance if you're concerned that someone could be suicidal.

As part of the venture, a search has also been launched across the Bradford district for people willing to become 'suicide prevention champions', to help break the stigma and raise awareness around suicide.

Recruits can access latest suicide prevention news and resources to help spread the word. More details can be found at

Sarah Muckle, director of public health at Bradford Council, says: "Tragically, the number of suicides in West Yorkshire has increased in recent years.

"Through initiatives like World Suicide Prevention Day, the Check in With Your Mate campaign and West Yorkshire suicide prevention champions, we can help break the stigma, encourage conversations about mental health and ultimately save lives."

Rob Webster, of the West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership, says: "World Suicide Prevention Day provides an important opportunity to put this issue at the top of the agenda and highlight how we can all take action to create a world where fewer people die by suicide.

"Suicides are preventable – they are not inevitable. By learning what we can do to help break stigma, raise awareness and signpost to support, we can work together to bring the suicide rate down.

"It’s great to have the support of sports clubs in promoting the importance of checking in on our mates and I’d also urge all to consider signing up to become suicide prevention champions – you might just save a life."

Anyone who needs to speak to somebody can contact the Samaritans, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, on 116 123, or visit the website at