Newport County AFC’s U18s academy side learn about the importance of good mental health thanks to awareness session by Changing Minds.
Changing Minds comes under the umbrella of Newport Mind but work specifically with people aged 14-25. Their primary aim is to support young people facing mental health problems to ensure they are not facing them alone. Changing Minds have helped people with anything from anxiety to a diagnosed condition by providing self-management courses, peer support and one-to-one workers.
This morning, Becky Jerman and Chloe Chandler from the Changing Minds programme delivered a session to the Newport County AFC’s U18s academy side which was designed to help break down barriers and encourage these young men to openly discuss mental health ahead of World Mental Health day on Wednesday 10th October.
After some ice breakers (in which one of the players admitted he liked watching Flog It and another said he would never miss an episode of EastEnders,) the session focused on topics such as: what is mental health; what is perception of mental health; what are the stigmas of mental health; and what are the worries and pressures facing young people today.
The boys were thoroughly engaged throughout and were particularly interested to learn about successful people who have had experienced mental health problems such as Will.i.am, David Beckham, and Robbie Williams.
Speaking after the session, Academy Star Lewis Collins said: “It’s interesting to learn that everyone can face mental health problems and that lots of people do. It’s good to know you’re never alone and it’s nice to know that there are people like Changing Minds who are there to help you if you need them.”
Course leader, Becky, said: "There's a section about successful celebrities with mental health difficulties in our presentation. This shows that people can be very successful and continue doing what they do even when facing mental health challenges."
Starting for the 2018/19 Season, the EFL and Mind partnered up to help spread awareness of mental health. You might have seen the Mind logo imprinting in the player’s shirt numbers and the “squiggle” at the start of players names (as seen below). This campaign has taken place right across the 72 EFL Clubs.
However, rather than be satisfied with a single annual bucket collection, Newport County AFC reached out to the local Newport Mind branch to see what additional support could be offered to people in our local community.
As well as donating the front of our home and away junior retail shirts to Changing Minds we will also be dedicating Saturday’s match (vs Stevenage) to Newport Mind. There will be a bucket collection at the game, an information point in the marquee, and key contacts and information in the match day programme.
Speaking about fundraising for the Changing Minds project, Becky Jerman said: “The project was lottery funded for five years but the funding runs out this November. At the moment we’re working really hard to get funding for it to continue. We’ve had a lot of feedback from young people who say it’s really valuable and we believe there is a need for this younger age-range to get support.”
As part of the plans to generate funding for the project, young people who work with Changing Minds have come up with an e-petition asking the Welsh Assembly to "give young people a voice when commissioning local services in Wales". Click here to find out more about the #ChangeIt campaign.
Please also give generously at Saturday’s bucket collection to help support this and the other fantastic work Newport Mind.