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Soccer aces back Console anti-suicide drive

QUEENS Park Rangers have joined forces with Irish suicide prevention charity Console to roll out a programme aimed at helping to save lives.

The soccer club has endorsed a Console three-hour training programme called Question, Persuade, Refer which will be rolled out at sporting clubs across both Ireland and the UK.

Players Rio Ferdinand and Richard Dunne along with manager Harry Redknapp have given public backing to the programme.

The two organisations were brought together by Leslie Haylock Speed, sister of former soccer star Gary Speed who took his own life in 2011.

Console founder and CEO Paul Kelly said: "Just as people trained in CPR help save thousands of lives each year, people trained in QPR learn how to recognise the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade and refer someone to help."

Redknapp, speaking at the team's pre-season training base at Carton House in Co Kildare, said that the QPR training highlights three simple steps that anyone can quickly learn to help save a life from suicide.

"Professional sportspeople may often block out what may be going on in their personal life and adopt a persona in the dressing room," he said.


"Anyone who has done the course will come away with a bit more empathy and a realisation that maybe there are things going on in a person's life that mean a quiet chat may be the best thing."

Mr Kelly said Console was now working with the GAA, soccer clubs and the Irish Rugby Union Players Association.