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Council tackles mental health with Cheltenham Town F.C.


As part of Men's Health Week (13th - 19th June), Gloucestershire County Council (GCC) and Cheltenham Town Football Club's Community Trust (CTFC) have joined up to encourage men to talk about their mental health.

Men are at a higher risk of dying by suicide but are less likely to access psychological therapies than women. MENtalk uses football to engage with young men and tackle the myths and stigma around mental illness. The programme encourages men to talk about mental health issues, and where to seek help.

The programme consists of a five sessions delivered by specially trained football coaches.

Each session consists of around 20 minutes of classroom-based activity, followed by 40 minutes of football and sports activity. Although football makes up a part of the course, the emphasis is on reinforcing the health messages covered in the classroom-based sessions through team work and communication.

Cllr Andrew Gravells, cabinet member for public health at Gloucestershire County Council, said: "Sometimes people can find it difficult to talk about feelings of depression, anxiety or stress. But mental health problems affect one in four of us during our lives so it's much more common than people think.

"Activities like MENtalk are really making a difference for young men - its good to talk!"

  Anyone concerned about their mental health can access free support through Samaritans (free, 24 hours a day, confidential), the Gloucestershire Self-harm Helpline on 0808 801 0606 (free and confidential), the Men's Health Forum 'Beat Stress' webchat at https://www.menshealthforum.org.uk/beat-stress-feel-better (confidential) and the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) helpline 0800 58 58 58 (free, targeted at men, confidential).

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