Walsall Football Club will host a special charity match day at the Banks's Stadium for the mental health charity Mind at Saturday's match against Northampton Town.
Mind is joining with Walsall for the fixture to help raise awareness among fans about mental health and the support the charity provides. Alongside this they hope to raise vital funds to tackle mental health problems.
The match day comes as part of Mind’s charity partnership with the EFL, which will see the charity work with all 72 EFL clubs, including Walsall, to help bring a lasting legacy around mental health in football.
The charity match day will include:
• A bucket collection before the match to support vital local mental health services
provided by Walsall’s local Mind branch – Birmingham Mind
• Information about mental health and Mind throughout the ground and in the match
day programme alongside
• An awareness-raising video being played on the big screen
• Announcements about the day over the tannoy
Mind’s own research shows that over half of people (56 per cent) feel that football fans find it easier to show their emotions at football matches than at any other time. Despite this the charity also knows that many fans, particularly men, are likely to be struggling in silence for fear of opening up about their mental health.
Mind hopes mental health-themed match days like this will begin to open up the conversation among football fans about their mental health as well as raising awareness about the support Mind offers.
Mind’s Partnership with the EFL launched at the start of the 2018/19 season and runs for two years.
It aims to:
o raise awareness about mental health with fans, clubs and staff
o raise funds to deliver life-changing support
o help improve the approach to mental health in football working with other
partners in the game.
Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, said: “Every year, one in four of us will experience a mental health problem. That could be one person in every family, hundreds of football players and many thousands of football fans.
"Our research suggests that while football fans, particularly men, are comfortable showing their emotions at football matches, many feel unable to reach out for support when they need it.
"We are proud to be working in partnership with all 72 clubs in the EFL, as part of our charity partnership with them, to be real game-changers in the way football tackles mental health. We hope that events like our match day with Walsall will reach out to fans and let them know that whoever you support, Mind supports you.”
Help support Mind’s vital mental health services by texting FOOTBALL to 70660 to donate £3.
Full T&C’s: bit.ly/2H0fTVf
For more information about Mind’s partnership with the EFL and wider work in football visit mind.org.uk/football.