Meet the Dumfries ice hockey team backing a campaign for male mental health

Men in their 30s are now one of the largest groups in Scotland to suffer from mental health issues, according to a 2021 public health report.

The Samaritans new Christmas campaign is hoping to help these men and others with the support of their newest sporting partner - Dumfries ice hockey team the Solway Sharks.

For many Sharks players there is a personal motivation behind this partnership and they are hoping it will raise more awareness to help men in Dumfries and Galloway in these winter months.

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The Samaritans are also keen to hear from men in the region who feel isolated due to the impact of Covid-19 restrictions and furlough ending.

Anne Stephenson, of the Dumfries branch of the charity, said: "Having the Solway Sharks, the ice hockey team talking about their own feelings, or family or friends, they are such good role models both for the fans and for the wider community that i think them opening up will encourage others to do the same"

Players and coaches have also been promoting the new campaign through their social media outlets.

The Samaritans message boards, posters and popups will now be displayed at home games at the Dumfries Ice Bowl to support fans who might be at risk.

Click here for organisations which can help anyone struggling with their mental health