EFDN Members Highlight Mental Health on Suicide Prevention Day
On the occasion of World Suicide Prevention Day, September 10, European Football for Development Network (EFDN) members commemorated the day by sharing positive messages and highlighting their projects that are working to tackle various issues surrounding mental health. Below are curated examples of the various social media engagements.
Newcastle Foundation runs a health and wellbeing project – Be A Game Changer – and participants took centre stage to highlight mental health by joining people across the globe to raise awareness of suicide and suicide prevention.
Hearts of Midlothian charity Big Hearts highlighted their mental health project – The Changing Room – that seeks to promote men’s positive mental health through the power of the beautiful game. Open to men aged 30 to 64, the 12-week programme offers participants opportunities to meet up, engage in activities together and start positive conversations about their mental health and wellbeing.
Burnley in the Community shared a valuable online resource regarding mental health.
Sheffield United Community Foundation used the occasion to announce the start of a new mental health programme – ‘Mental Health SupSport’. The innovative project will allow the foundation to support individuals and organisations in delivering sport and physical activity to improve the Mental Health of all. The programme will include a wide range of sessions and initially the schedule will consist of a Men’s Mental Health football session, a Women’s Mental Health Football Session, and two Young people’s football/social sessions.
Greenock Morton Community Trust showcased their Team Talk health project. With estimates showing that suicide is the single biggest killer of men under 45 years of age in the UK, Morton in the Community open up their stadium to provide a place for men aged 16 and above to feel included and have the opportunity to talk.
The Scottish Professional Football League Trust shared about their initiative ‘United to Prevent Suicide’ which is about creating a social movement for change empowering people to find the confidence to talk about suicide. The campaign was informed by thousands of people across Scotland, many with lived experience of mental health issues and suicide.
Hibernian FC highlighted their project – The Changing Room – whose goal is to promote men’s mental health and wellbeing through the power of the beautiful game. In Scotland, men are two-and-a-half times more likely to die by suicide. The Changing Room is using football to bring men together to tackle mental health in the stadiums, in the stands, in fan forums, even in the queue.
Blackburn Rovers Community Trust also joined in observance of World Suicide Prevention Day.
Liverpool FC Foundation and its community team, Red Neighbours, are joining forces with supporters union Spirit of Shankly to deliver a season-long mental health project for fans. The new initiative was announced to coincide with World Suicide Prevention Day, with its purpose to raise awareness of mental health through a range of targeted events, sessions and training. It is hoped that these joint activities will inspire conversation and action by supporters to remove the stigma around mental health and improve knowledge and understanding.