The EFL and its Clubs will once again come together with charity partner, Mind, to collectively mark World Mental Health Day tomorrow (Saturday 10 October).
With Mind’s latest research revealing that more than 60% of adults and over two thirds of young people (68%) felt their mental health deteriorated during the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown, encouraging conversations around our own mental health and that of others has never been more important.
Mind’s ‘do one thing’ campaign aims to inspire people to make one small change or take one action to look after their mental health, and tomorrow we will be sharing a surprise we have given one Hatters supporter who has gone the extra mile to keep his fellow fans talking since the pandemic took hold.
In the build-up to World Mental Health Day, the Luton Town Community Trust have been hard at work with their regular sessions designed to keep supporters engaged and sharing experiences.
On Monday morning, the Hatter Chatter group that meets weekly as part of the Trust's Tackling Loneliness project had a special guest join their Zoom session, with Hatters assistant-manager, chief recruitment officer, former striker and all-round legend Mick Harford (pictured above celebrating last season's Great Escape with manager Nathan Jones) answering questions and sharing stories from his career, as well as current topics involving the Town.
Participants in the Hatter Chatter group have spent many of the past few months shielding, so they have found the regular companionship crucial to maintaining their own mental health and well-being.
They were all only too happy to share their morning with Mick, and the contents of their chat, so make yourself a cuppa and watch below...
This morning, the Trust visited Stopsley Primary School where they had three events running for the children in a carousel format:
There was a presentation on the benefits and also potential risks to mental well-being through sport and exercise, and looking at how we can integrate and make use of sport and exercise more frequently.
Russell Munroe, from the NHS and Beds police well-being team, led a well-being presentation which focused on mental well-being as a whole and Q&As with the pupils.
There was also a practical session which was aimed at highlighting the benefits of activity on mental health and encouraging positivity.
Year 6 teacher Robyn Britten said: "The sessions helped the children to understand the importance of looking after their physical and mental well-being. It helped them understand strategies to help themselves and others as they progress through life."
James Hatch, the Trust's school and sport manager, said: "The impact the event around mental well-being had on the year 6 pupils from our partner school, Stopsley Primary, was really pleasing to see.
"The engagement and input into the discussions and awareness they shown around the topic helped to build on key messages that would help them become more aware about themselves, friends and family as they get older."
You can view the rest of the pictures of the event in the gallery above.
This is the latest activity by the EFL and Mind, who are currently in Year Three of their groundbreaking charity partnership which aims to raise awareness of mental health amongst fans and the wider public, help raise funds for Mind to deliver life changing services and improve the approach to mental health in the EFL and Clubs.
The League recently celebrated the impact of the charity partnership over the last two seasons, with the results available to view here.
For more information on how to get involved with ‘Do one thing’ on World Mental Health Day see mind.org.uk/wmhd