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UCLan to host World Mental Health Day football tournament

UCLan to host World Mental Health Day football tournament  Banner Image

University works with local partners for World Mental Health Day event

People in Lancashire who may have lost touch with their social networks are being encouraged to take part in a football tournament to mark this year’s World Mental Health Day (WMHD).

The University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) Sports Arena will host the Live Healthy Gain Extra Time football tournament, run by Lancashire Care’s Community Restart Team, on Tuesday 10 October.

The University is working closely with Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust’s Community Restart Team, Creative Support and other local partners to run the event and allow service users and the community to develop community football groups to tackle social isolation and increase overall health and wellbeing.

Cian McEvoy, UCLan Football Development Officer, said: “UCLan Sports Arena has formed a very close partnership with Creative Support over the past 12 months and has seen first-hand the impact sport and wellbeing has on the participants. With all the partners coming together to raise awareness around mental health, we are able to utilise everyone’s experiences to help tackle the stigma attached to mental health and the important role sport plays.”

Football has been proven to play a significant part in people’s recovery and the support networks and friendships built through tournaments like this can last a lifetime.

Paul Hardman, Support Coordinator at Creative Support, commented: “Football has been proven to play a significant part in people’s recovery and the support networks and friendships built through tournaments like this can last a lifetime. Much like the League set up by the Trust’s Community Restart Team in Preston, we have seen fantastic outcomes from our own Social Inclusion Football League at Blackburn Rovers Community Trust. The benefits of increased fitness, confidence, self-esteem and new friendships have paved the way for many of our players to explore new opportunities within volunteering, education and employment.

“Once again, we are very proud to be working alongside David Murphy and the Lancashire Care’s Community Restart Team. With the support of UCLan Sports Arena and our other partners it is destined to be another fantastic event.”

Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust’s Community Restart Team provides help and support to people living with mental health problems enabling them to improve their quality of life and experience positive new challenges. The team works with individual service users to provide tailored support for things such as employment, finances, housing and social inclusion.

The service had previously worked with service users and the community to develop community football groups to tackle social isolation and increase overall health and wellbeing. They have since worked with Lancashire FA to develop a community league, which teams from across Lancashire take part in every month. Also at the event are three guest speakers with experience of mental health from ‘sport in mind’ who will be delivering three workshops for people to get involved in.

To celebrate World Mental Health Day 2017 we are holding the tournament for everyone to get involved with a game or two; you never know you could be part of the winning team.

David Murphy, Service User Development Co-ordinator in the Central Lancashire Community Restart Team at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, said: “When people are experiencing mental health problems it can lead them to withdrawing from support networks such as family, friends and local communities. We want to encourage people to get back into their community and social networks at their own pace as this can have a positive impact on their recovery and sustaining improved mental health and wellbeing. Taking part in exercise is also known to be a great way to improve our overall health and wellbeing so we combined the two to create a football league.

“To celebrate World Mental Health Day 2017 we are holding the tournament for everyone to get involved with a game or two; you never know you could be part of the winning team.”

Andrew Whittaker, Football Development Officer at Lancashire Football Association added: “Lancashire FA are working in partnership with, Creative Support, Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, UCLan, Lancashire Mind and other key local partners who support people wellbeing.

“Over the past three years this partnership has develop from using the national game of football to help tackle the stigma attached to mental health. This year's theme is mental wellbeing in the workplace. This year’s event is going to build on the development of local opportunities for example the creative support league based at Blackburn Rovers football club and the community inclusion league based at play football in Preston. This year’s event is looking to raise the awareness of the next work force and members of the community using lived experiences from state of mind to name just one.”

The event will be held on Tuesday 10 October from 10.00am-4.00pm at UCLan Sports Arena, Tom Benson Way, Preston, PR2 1SG. Anyone interested in taking part in the tournament should register their interest by contacting David Murphy on 07903516657.

Press Office | 04 October 2017