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Number Of Men Seeking Mental Health Help Has Spiked Since Paddy Pimblett's Suicide Speech

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Number Of Men Seeking Mental Health Help Has Spiked Since Paddy Pimblett's Suicide Speech

The number of men attending mental health clubs has increased massively following Paddy Pimblett's emotional speech about suicide at UFC London.

Pimblett made a passionate plea, urging all men to speak up when they're feeling down and ultimately seek help when they need it.

The UFC star, moved to tears while in the octagon, revealed that he made the call-out after losing a close friend to suicide during the build-up to his bout against Jordan Leavitt.

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Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Now the wider impacts of his incredibly-touching words are already being felt after it was confirmed that there had been a huge surge in the number of men attending mental health clubs in West Yorkshire.

Men attending Andy's Man Club, one of the most prominent men's mental health groups in West Yorkshire, has since surged following Pimblett's plea, with many attending for the first time.

"Across both of the Leeds and Castleford groups we have 69 (10 new) and 39 (9 new) who attended respectively. It just shows how much the groups are needed and how more and more men are talking if they're struggling," Andy Wilson, who is facilitator at Andy's Man Club, told the Yorkshire Evening Post.

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"The interview with Paddy Pimblett following his fight at the weekend can only have helped raise awareness on how important is for people to open up and talk if they're struggling with anything and a reminder once again that it's okay to talk."

Mental health consultant Pete White said Pimblett's speech was a "brilliant example of pattern interrupt".

"People were expecting Paddy to give the usual post-fight victory speech, but he delivered an incredibly powerful and vulnerable message about mental health," White told the Yorkshire Evening Post.

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"This, along with a professional fighter, someone we often view as 'tough' and not concerned with mental health concerns, made people sit up and listen.

"We need more people doing this from all parts of society - vulnerability empowers."

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Yorkshire-based psychotherapist Roxy Rhodes doubled down on this, adding that the UFC star's comments had "elevated the issue of men's mental health into a whole new arena".

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"He did exactly what is needs to be done and transformed it into simple terms – just start talking", Rhodes told the Yorkshire Evening Post.

"The idea of getting “mental health help” often feels too big for anyone who is already at the point of considering suicide.

"Just talking feels eminently more doable and he brought the decision to get help down to an achievable level.

"The noise the crowd made during his speech shows the impact this had in that very moment.

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"The stigma is being attacked by some standout men in sport who are using their platforms to demonstrate that mental health is as important as physical health."

As a viewer, it was a very moving speech which clearly struck a cord with those watching from home.

"I woke up on Friday morning at 4am to a message that one my friends back home had killed themselves. This was five hours before my weigh-in," he told Michael Bisping during his octagon interview.

"So Ricky lad, that’s for you. There's a stigma in this world that men can’t talk.

“Listen, if you're a man and you've got weight on your shoulders and you think the only way you can solve it is by killing yourself, please speak to someone. Speak to anyone.

"People would rather... I know I would rather have my mate cry on my shoulder than go to his funeral next week. So please, let's get rid of this stigma. Men start talking."

Openly crying during his passionate plea, Pimblett displayed the sort of rawness which has seen him become one of the most-loved sports stars on the planet.

Featured Image Credit: Twitter/UFC/Alamy

Topics: Australia, MMA, UFC, Paddy Pimblett

Max Sherry
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