Words: Josh Millar
It’s not easy talking about not being okay. Every year, one in four people will experience a problem with their mental health. Support charity Mind are looking to change all of that, for the first time ever, they’ll be showcasing how they can help at the Carabao Cup final at Wembley this Sunday.
Mind’s research shows that 56% of people 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. They’re looking to change that for anyone that might be struggling. Mind hopes its presence among the 90,000 fans at the Carabao Cup 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 became an official partner of the Carabao Cup organisers, EFL, at the beginning of the 2018/19 season, as part of their On Your Side campaign. One aspect of the partnership is that every player in the 72 Football League clubs has the Mind logo at the start of the letters on the back of their shirts. Research commissioned for the launch of On Your Side showed that 30% of people would find it easier to explain the offside rule to friends or family than what mental health is. Mind are aiming to change that.
On Sunday, Mind ambassador Clarke Carlisle will deliver a speech alongside his wife Carrie to members of the footballing community at Wembley. They’ll talk about their experience of Carlisle’s own mental health and how they dealt with it, alongside how the partnership between Mind and the EFL is looking to shape the conversation surrounding the issue.
Mind’s Partnership with the EFL launched at the start of the 2018/19 season and will run into next season. It aims to raise awareness about mental health with fans, clubs and staff, raise funds to deliver life-changing support, and help improve the approach to mental health in football by working with other partners in the game.