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23 Aug 2019

EFL clubs partner with Mind for mental health project
BY Tom Walker

The campaign aims to support more than 120,000 people with mental health problems across the country

The campaign aims to support more than 120,000 people with mental health problems across the country

A new campaign will use football to help people with mental health problems get more physically active and improve their mental wellbeing.

Nine English Football League (EFL) clubs have partnered with mental health charity Mind to launch the next phase of the Get Set to Go programme, which will support more than 120,000 people with mental health problems across the country.

Funded by Sport England and the National Lottery, Get Set to Go is a nationwide programme and is being expanded thanks to fundraising by the EFL and Mind’s ‘On Your Side’ partnership.

The launch comes as the EFL and Mind move into Year Two of their partnership that seeks to use the power of football to improve the nation’s mental health.

“As we move into Year Two of the partnership, it’s fantastic that the programme is being expanded due to the work of our Clubs and funds raised by them and supporters throughout the 2018/19 season," said Zoe Tootle, EFL executive office director.

"Using the power of football and the Club badges, the nine new hubs will make a real impact in tackling mental health issues in communities across the UK."

Paul Farmer, CEO of Mind, added: “We know the power that sport, and in particular football, has to create change.

"Physical and mental health go hand in hand and the benefits of being more active for your mental wellbeing are well established. But we also know that having a mental health problem can be a real barrier to getting active.

"That’s why we’re delighted to be working in partnership with the EFL to expand our highly successful Get Set to Go programme to nine new parts of the country.

“Through funding from Sport England and the National Lottery we have already seen thousands of people with mental health problems benefit from Get Set to Go.

"With the help of the nine EFL clubs and their respective local Minds in this new phase of the programme we hope to reach many thousands more. Working together with the EFL, and with continued support from Sport England, we hope to be real game-changers in the way football tackles mental health.”

Launched in 2015, the programme has seen more than 3,500 people with mental health problems being given the opportunity to try out new activities in a relaxed and friendly environment.

An independent research team from Loughborough University conducted a two-year study into the programme. It showed that those who have taken part in the programme say that it not only increased their activity levels over a 12-month period but also helped them feel more resilient and better able to cope with challenging life events.

The nine clubs taking part in the programme are Carlisle United, Charlton Athletic, Derby County, Milwall, Newport County, Sheffield Wednesday, Stevenage, Sunderland, Wimbledon AFC



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