Andy’s Man Club
891. Luke Ambler
Luke Ambler, from Halifax, is a former international rugby league player who established ‘Andy’s Man Club’ after his brother-in-law committed suicide.
The aim of ‘Andy’s Man Club’ is to get people talking about mental health issues and halve the suicide rate amongst men in the UK, which is currently the largest cause of death of men aged under 45. Since the first club was launched in Halifax, there are now 10 operating across the UK providing a safe space for hundreds of men to talk about mental issues without any fear of stigma. To raise awareness of this issue Luke launched the online campaign #itsoktotalk which has been tagged over 13,500 times on Instagram and thousands more on Twitter, attracting a range of celebrity supporters including comedian Ricky Gervais. The mental health charity ‘CALM’ has also expressed support for the campaign and Luke’s work has been included in the Department for Heath’s White Paper ‘Preventing Suicide in England’.
In a personal letter to Luke, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“By establishing ‘Andy’s Man Club’ you have turned a personal tragedy into a force for positive change, providing spaces up and down the country where men can talk openly about their emotions. You should feel very proud of inspiring thousands of people to engage with your #itsoktotalk online campaign and tackle the stigma of mental health issues.”
“I am completely overwhelmed to receive the 891st Point of Light award. I am very lucky to be part of and lead an amazing team of volunteers. This award is for them too, who all work so hard to prevent people taking their lives in our beautiful country.”