Football aimed to tackle mental health when Doncaster Council’s Public Health team organised a soccer tournament to raise awareness of the issue.
Featuring 10 teams, all from different areas of employment, the fabulous football event took place at the Goals centre, at Worcester Avenue, Doncaster, and was set up to show that mental health – particularly in men – does not discriminate and can affect people from all backgrounds.
Mental health issues can affect anyone, but are particularly prevalent in men, with one in eight experiencing depression at some stage in their life.
Men often find it more difficult to talk about their emotions than women and, even though mental health illness in men is now being discussed more openly, men are still struggling to talk about their concerns because of the ‘stigma’ which is attached to seeking help.
Mental health issues can be caused by a number of factors, including bereavement, unemployment, finance and debt issues, family and relationship problems, social isolation, low self-esteem, drug and alcohol issues and many other personal factors.
Councillor Nigel Ball, Doncaster Council Cabinet Member for Public Health, said: “Although men and women can all experience the same emotions, men can often find it much more difficult to open up and talk about their feelings.
“Physical activity is known to have beneficial effects on mental health so we organised the football tournament to bring together men from different professions. Through the tournament we wanted to encourage them to be active, meet new people and most importantly to show that it’s okay to talk, reducing the stigma that mental health may have had in the past.”
If you would like advice or guidance with mental health issues, there are a number of local organisations that can help.
Contact the Doncaster Talking Shop on 01302 565650 or call in at 63 Hall Gate, Doncaster, DN1 3PB (open Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm).
Call the Samaritans free on 116 123 (open 24 hours a day, every day of the year).
Call Doncaster Mind on 01302 812190 (open Monday – Friday, 9am – 4pm).
Join the Doncaster Mankind group on Facebook to talk to other local residents about how you’re feeling.
Visit the www.yourlifedoncaster.co.uk for signposting to other local support services.