Mental health charity Mind has launched a new phase of the Get Set to Go mental health project in partnership with nine EFL clubs.
The mental health charity launched the programme back in 2015 with the aim of promoting the benefits of exercise as a way of improving mental wellbeing. Last year, it partnered with the EFL itself to launch a campaign to support the programme, entitled On Your Side, which involved the Mind logo being placed on the back of the shirts of all 72 EFL teams. After fundraising efforts in the first year of that partnership, the charity says it has been able to expand the programme this year.
Altogether, nine EFL clubs have been announced as taking part in the new phase of the programme and will partner with their local Mind groups around the country to raise awareness of mental health issues in the community.
Three of the clubs, Charlton Athletic, Millwall and AFC Wimbledon, took part in the initial launch, with the other six - Carlisle United, Derby County, Newport County, Sheffield Wednesday, Stevenage and Sunderland - holding their own respective launch events throughout the season.
Paul Farmer, CEO, Mind, said: “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.”
Sarah Ruane, Sport England’s Strategic Lead for Health said: “We’re excited to see the Get Set to Go programme, which we support with National Lottery funding, expand into EFL clubs to help more people with mental health problems to get more active.
“Our research shows that those who take part in less physical activity have lower levels of mental wellbeing, and we know that activity has many mental health benefits such as reduced anxiety and improved mood.
“Helping people enjoy the mental health benefits of being active continues to be a key pillar of our strategy Towards An Active Nation.”