Head in the Game project combining football and mental wellbeing comes to Thanet

Take to the pitch with Head in the Game

Sessions of the beautiful game to help tackle the issue of poor mental health among men will be held in Thanet by The Charitable Football Club.

The Head in the Game scheme has been funded by Kent County Council to deliver a mental health focused football project.

The project aims to give men in the community the chance to come together and enjoy the game and the company.

The sessions are free and for men between the ages of 25-55 of any footballing ability.

Supported by qualified football and Talk Club coaches, each session will have a focus on men’s mental health and wellbeing, providing an outlet in a secure and trusted environment.

In Thanet Head in the Game sessions will be held every Monday from April 12 at the 3G pitch in St Mildred’s Road, Minster, from 8pm to 9pm.

Club Social Secretary Danny O’Shea said: “”The aim is to try and to help the community in recovering from the negative effects of the pandemic, especially with regards to mental health and isolation. The project is specifically aimed at the demographic of men aged 25-55, the highest risk category for suicide”

A mental health needs assessment published in 2019 highlights that mental ill health currently represents 23% of the total ill health in the UK and is the largest single cause of disability .

Both poverty and exposure to ‘adverse childhood experiences’ (ACE) contribute and exacerbate a person’s mental health

Social Isolation and loneliness increase the likelihood of depression, multi-morbidity and use of adult acute mental health services.

In Kent and Medway, there are similar rates of mental illness to the national average. In addition, there are increases in severe depression, complex multiple morbidity, poorer outcomes in both hospital attendances, admissions and premature death in parts of the area, most notably Medway and Thanet and higher than national averages of drug and alcohol related deaths, suicides and use of mental health act powers.

In Kent and Medway, the male suicide rate is 16.1 per 100,000 (England rate: 14.7) and is higher than the female suicide rate in Kent and Medway of 5.2 (England rate is 4.7).

The report says Thanet has higher hospital admissions for mental illness, the highest prevalence of psychosis, high rates of prescribing and poor outcomes regarding crisis care and hospital admissions. Thanet has the highest suicide and self-harm rates in Kent and Medway.

Societal expectations and traditional gender roles play a role in why men are less likely to discuss or seek help for their mental health problems. Men are often expected to be the breadwinners and to be strong, dominant and in control. This can make it harder for men to reach out for help and open up.

Head in the Game sessions and groups such as Thanet’s Man Club can provide a lifeline for someone who may need to talk about their wellbeing in a situation they feel comfortable with.

The Charitable Football Club (TCFC) is a Kent based club dedicated to raising awareness and funds for charities and good causes across the UK. It is a non profit making football club.

To sign up for Head in the Game, or find out more, call/text/whatsapp 07507268045 or email [email protected] or visit www.headinthegame.co.uk

Find more about The Charitable Football Club at theclubhq.com/thecharitablefootballclub

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