Tag Archives: mental health

FA Cup final to be renamed in support of ‘heads up’ campaign

The FA Cup final is to be renamed in support of Prince William’s ‘heads up’ campaign aimed at raising awareness for men’s mental health. The change in sponsor means Emirates will temporarily step down as the competition’s main sponsor for the first time since 2015.

What is ‘Heads Up’?

Mental health is a topic that has become something of a national importance, with deaths by suicide rising by 10.9% in the UK in 2018 (Samaritans). A shocking stat is that men are three times more likely to commit suicide than women in the UK. The Premier League started a ‘heads up’ campaign spearheaded by Prince William (HRH Duke of Cambridge) to raise awareness of men speaking out about mental health, taking place on the weekends 8th-9th and 15th-16th February.

The campaign also saw the clubs around the Premier League starting matches a minute late in order to show a promotional video for positive mental health. Many local charities got fans with mental health to speak out and reduce the stigma surrounding men and opening up about their emotions.

This move comes after a huge spike in the number of footballers looking for mental health therapy. With 355 professionals accessing therapy in early to late 2019. Olu Maintain, a former academy player, spoke out about his fight with mental health on a youtube series called “Man-up” from BBC Sport. We are seeing a trend of more players opening up about their issues.  

Jesse Lingard spoke about the issues he had in an interview with the Daily Mail and the topic has become something of huge importance within the football community.

In an an article from BBC Sport, Prince William stated:

“It’s quite timely bearing in mind what we’ve all been through with this pandemic [Covid-19].

“I think there’s going to be, sadly, a lot of repercussions from this in society, not just in football, in terms of people’s mental health.

“Hopefully the FA Cup can be a bit of a pivot that people can rally around.”

 

When does the competition restart?

The quarter finals are set to take place on 27th-28th June, with the semi-finals potentially being played on the 18th-19th July. You can see the fixtures here.

EFL Football Manger Cup Round Two Review

The EFL Football Manager Cup is building up ahead of steam following the second round’s completion.

The virtual cup began on Monday 18 April with 54 teams in the hat and has now been whittled down to just 16 sides.

The match of the round was undoubtedly Brenford’s compelling encounter with Shrewsbury Town.  The Bees had to come from behind twice to secure a 2-2 draw in normal time.  Following an additional 30 minutes, the sides still could not find a winner so the contest was settled by who could keep their nerve from the penalty spot.  Ultimately it was the Championship side who prevailed 3-1 thanks to goalkeeper David Reyna who produced the crucial save from Shrewsbury’s midfielder Shaun Whalley.

Joe Lolley’s Nottingham Forest meanwhile managed to put five past Southend at the City Ground thanks to two goals from Ben Watson and Portuguese left back Yuri Ribeiro.  Lee Camp’s Birmingham City side also managed to score five in an impressive 5- 0 over Forest Green Rovers.

Elsewhere, Luton Town progressed to round three with a 3-1 success against Ipswich, mirroring the exact result between the sides when they met in the Carabao Cup back in August.  While there were 1-0 wins for Fulham and Mansfield Town against Charlton Athletic and Portsmouth respectively.

This tournament has so far managed to raise £1,879 for the mental health charity, Mind UK and you can continue to donate via the JustGive Page until it’s conclusion on the 17th May.

The draw for the next round is set to take place this Sunday via the Football Manager twitter page.

EFL Football Manager Cup Schedule

The Round of 16 – Commences week of May 4th

The Quarter-finals – May 11-14th

The Semi Finals –  Saturday May 16th

The Final – Sunday May 17th

Every mind matters – How Harry maguire and Jesse Lingard are coping in lockdown

England and Manchester United duo Harry Maguire and Jesse Lingard have announced their support of the Every Mind Matters campaign to support everyone in lockdown.

Data shows that there are as many as four in five people suffering much higher levels of anxiety as a result of the virus and the campaign offers advice for people to help with their mental wellbeing during the COVID-19 lockdown,

Due to many people feeling worried, anxious or isolated during these challenging times, Public Health England’s Every Mind Matters shows that there’s plenty of things we can all do to look after our mental wellbeing and help others prevent these concerns from becoming more serious.

Both Lingard and Maguire have revealed the ways in which they’ve been able to try and keep their mind, and bodies, active during the current lockdown.

“Speaking regularly to my friends and family is so important during this time,” revealed Maguire.

“It doesn’t matter how – whether it’s via Skype, FaceTime or just a simple call, it’s good to speak about how you’re feeling with others which supports everyone’s mental wellbeing.

“The conversations give me a lot of encouragement and positivity, which is exactly what everyone needs during self-isolation.”

Lingard added: “I’m doing yoga twice a week at home to help look after my mental health.

“Speaking to my family on a regular basis is also really helpful as they give me support and make me feel connected.

“All of our lives have obviously changed a lot in recent weeks which can be confusing and make you feel anxious.

“Even during isolation I am trying to stay focused and set goals which has helped me maintain a routine and positive attitude.”

Furthermore, the campaign has been backed by FA President The Duke of Cambridge and the Duchess, who have been part of a powerful new film in support of it which was broadcast across national TV channels on Monday 20 April.

The Every Mind Matters website includes new NHS expert tips and advice on looking after mental wellbeing and supporting your family and loved ones during this time.

There is new advice, centered around taking care of individuals’ mental wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic with loads of new assets that are intended to help deal with our psychological prosperity during coronavirus.

It incorporates a custom fitted COVID-19 mind plan with content for people and their friends and family and backing for explicit mental wellbeing issues, for example, anxiety, stress, low mood and trouble sleeping. The site signs individuals to exercises, for example, careful breathing activities, help reframing unhelpful contemplations, and muscle unwinding.

As well as the new COVID-19 mental health support, Every Mind Matters urges individuals to finish a ‘MindPlan’, a snappy and free initiative that offers custom-made mental wellbeing guidance. More than 1.9m ‘Mind Plans’ have been finished since the dispatch in October.

The NHS-embraced content has been created in organization with clinicians, academics and driving psychological well-being noble cause and social endeavors including Mind, Mental Health Foundation, Samaritans, Rethink, Mental Health First Aid England, and offers definitive, proof based and functional help to the overall population, just as individuals with explicit emotional well-being concerns.

Mind UK and the English Football League team up to launch the EFL Virtual Football Manager Cup!

Missing the thrill of seeing live football? Well EFL, Mind UK and Football Manager have collaborated to come up with perhaps the next best thing.

Following the postponement of live action on the football pitch, alongside the English Football League and the Mental Health Charity, Mind UK, Football Manager has decided to launch the EFL Football Manager Cup, an online tournament that kicks-off this week.

So far fans have been able to see Nottingham Forest winger Joe Lolley lead his team to a 2-1 win against Leeds United fan, Rob Callery’s side.  While virtual boss James Moulding’s Preston North End enjoyed a remarkable 10-1 victory over Crawley Town!

Elsewhere there have so far been wins for Middlesbrough, Mansfield Town and Leyton Orient.

The tournament is due to take place over the next month and involves 54 clubs from across the English Football League, with each being represented by a virtual manager who is part of that club either as a player, backroom staff or a supporter.

Football players featuring in the competition include goalkeeper Lee Camp, who is in charge of his current club Birmingham City, Ollie Kensdale is the man calling the shots for Colchester United and Blackburn’s Adam Armstrong is making the key decisions for his club.

The tournament is a straight knockout competition with the final due to take place in mid-May.  After each round is completed there will be highlights uploaded onto the FM YouTube channel for you to catch up on.

Crucially throughout the tournament you can also show your support for Mind UK by donating on this JustGiving page, which is open throughout the tournament.

The first round is due to finish on Thursday with games being played throughout the next few days, so you can sit back and enjoy the beautiful game.

  • Round one match dates – Monday April 20th to Thursday April 23rd
  • Round two – Week commencing April 27th
  • Round of 16 – Week commencing May 4th
  • Quarter-finals – Monday May 11th to Thursday May 14th
  • Semi-finals – Saturday May 16th
  • Final – Sunday May 17th

Game on!

Football & Mental Health: Tackling the Stigma

A crucially important topic that is commonly overshadowed by the thrills and spills in modern football, is mental health. According to the mental health charity ‘Mind’, approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health issue in their lifetime. And for professional athletes it is no different; according to the BBC, professional footballers suffer more from symptoms of depression and anxiety than the general public. With the irrational amount of money in the Premier League, what is being done to help players suffering from mental health issues? And what is causing professional players to suffer?

The FA state that football has many benefits in aiming to improve mental health, such as by promoting social inclusion and reducing obesity. They have also launched the nationwide campaign “Time to Change”; aiming to tackle the stigma around mental health and encourage coaches to talk more to players about the issue, and players to seek support amongst themselves. Mental health problems can affect anyone – footballers too. I’m pledging to support Time to Change… It’s ok to talk about mental health.” Tony Adams ex England and Arsenal player.

There are many reasons professional players suffer from mental health issues, ranging from not being selected for their respective team and retirement, to having a fear of failure and being unable to cope with the pressures they face. The increased coverage of mental health in football has prompted the increase in initiatives and club involvement in helping mitigate against mental health issues.

The Professional Footballers Association (PFA) have said that data shows that 438 current and former professionals accessed therapy in 2018, 278 more than two years ago. Michael Bennett, former England youth international and current PFA welfare director exclaimed “Dealing with injuries, transition in and out of the game, going on loan and feeling isolated, foreign players being lonely and so on, and then you can have problems related to money worries or addiction. This shows the variety of issues that individuals can face is great and must be supported by clubs and their NGB’s (National Governing Bodies) like the FA.

Clubs are slowly but surely improving their reaction to mental health. The main problem with mental health issues in football is that from a team’s perspective, they are not seen to hinder performance as much as physical health. This has had major negative effects on players in the past, with them often being forced to play regardless of their emotional wellbeing. Everton FC took a leap forward in 2017, making a massive £1m investment on a mental health centre directly next door to Goodison Park. The centre, named ‘People’s Place’, is designed to support players and members of the community through their program ‘Everton in the Community’.

Although the process is slow, progress is beginning to show. It is becoming clearer each season that mental health is a topic becoming progressively important amongst professional sport clubs and the wider population.