September 10th marks World Suicide Prevention Day, so to coincide with that, Andy's Man Club were on hand in Huddersfield Town Centre to interact with the general public and spread their message and help raise awareness of mental health related struggles and illness.
As well as being on hand to speak to anybody who wished to and hand out leaflets advertising their purpose and whereabouts, they also linked arms in a show of solidarity, in what was a physical representation of their #TOGETHERSTRONGER mentality.
Started by former Rugby League professional Luke Ambler, who this year retired from the game, the group was inspired by his late brother-in-law, who took his own life last year. Clubs now exist not only in Halifax and Huddersfield, but in places like Leigh and Hull, with groups starting as far afield as Arsenal football club and Scotland this week.
Speaking to Robert Thewlis, who started as a club member in Halifax before being asked to facilitate the Huddersfield expansion, he was extremely pleased with how their time in the town centre was spent, and the progress the group has shown in a relatively short amount of time since coming in to existence. Currently the second biggest Andy's Man Club in terms of attendees, there is on average around 12 to 15 people at the group every Monday evening.
"It's more important now than ever to be seen and heard where mental health awareness is concerned" Robert told us. "Over the past few years the statistics relating to mental health related illnesses and death have been ever increasing, so it's really important for people to understand that there are places to go to be listened to, open up and talk about how you're feeling."
Anybody who is interested in going along to the club at Union Bank at 7pm on a Monday evening has nothing to fear, according to Thewlis, as everyone is allowed to take it at their own pace, and only participate as much as they wish to.
"If there is anybody contemplating coming to the club, first - don't be scared. We've all been there, and the hardest part is coming through the door" Robert says. "You won't be forced to do anything you don't want to, so you won't be made to talk if you don't want to. If you just want to come along, have a coffee, sit and listen to the rest of the group, you're more than welcome to come down and see what we're actually about.
"Once you're through that door though, the supportive and social aspect is really something to be admired."