Mental Health Matters
Norfolk & Waveney Mind
Norfolk & Waveney Mind are Norfolk FA's Official Charity Partner and believe no one should have to face a mental health problem alone.
Grassroots Football and Mental Health
One in four people will experience a mental health problem in any year. Over 10% of the population have depression at any one time. There are millions of people involved in grassroots football, right now, with mental health problems. The examples of Robert Enke, Frank Bruno and Marcus Trescothick show that mental health is relevant to everyone in sport, even at the elite level.
Mainstream clubs should be comfortable including people with mental health problems, in training, matches and socially. We want to make coaches and teammates confident and comfortable about talking about mental health problems, in the same way that people discuss physical injuries.
Sport can help in people’s recovery, help to manage symptoms and can radically improve the quality of people’s lives. Whether it’s in mainstream, community football clubs, or in specialised sport and mental health projects, football can deliver massive benefits. There are three key ways that football can help:
- Delivering social inclusion
- Helping physical health
- Improving people’s mental health
For some people, physical activity can be as powerful as medicine or therapy. In 2010 the Mental Health Foundation said that for people with depression, “Comparative studies have shown that exercise can be as effective as medication or psychotherapy”. Exercise releases natural chemicals like adrenaline and serotonin. It also helps to release muscle tension, raises the body temperature and causes tiredness. These all help relieve stress and provide relaxation – this is of particular benefit for people with mental health problems.
Please see below different resources and organisations that promote mental health, especially within Norfolk and grassroots football.