Wexford Football is Tackling Mental Health

On the October bank holiday weekend the entire football community in Wexford is coming together to tackle the issue of mental health. The Wexford Football League, Ladies league, schoolboys league and Wexford Branch of the Irish Referees society have all partnered together in conjunction with TalkToTom for this event. We propose to dedicate this weekend to the promotion of positive mental health.

As we approach the darker winter months and after a difficult time for everybody across the pandemic, we are conscious that many people are struggling. We feel that this is an appropriate time to use our status as an organisation to promote and advocate for some of the amazing work being done by our partners, as well as recognise the role sport can play. Playing sports increases serotonin levels, creates endorphins and football brings people together whether they are playing or simply involved with or supporting a club which engenders a sense of community to help people stay connected. These are positives we see on a regular basis within our sport and recognising that is important.

A brief outline of our action plan is listed as follows:

  • Talk To Tom will run a free training programme for all coaches interested on Wednesday 26th October, this programme will help coaches or club members to recognise the warning signs of suicide, direct them on how to offer hope and potentially save a life.
  • We will provide every club with signs which include a list of contact numbers for referrals for people who may be struggling with their mental health.
  • We aim to encourage all clubs to display signage with details of various talk lines and mental health groups to help raise awareness.
  • We will be requesting that all ‘subs’ fees brought by players on the day will be donated to our partners, in conjunction with this we will be asking referees to donate a percentage of their match fee also. We will also request that clubs have buckets and collect from supporters. All proceeds will go towards this iniative.

In the build-up to this weekend we have also booked a room in the Riverside Park hotel for Wednesday 26th October at 8pm where Talk To Tom will offer free QPR training to all coaches interested free of charge. Further information about the training programme can be found at https://www.talktotom.ie/qprtraining. We strongly encourage that each club send at least one member to this event as it may prove to be an invaluable asset to your club and community. This training is open to all interested.

Our hope is by raising awareness on the issue of Mental Health is that we may well remove any stigma attached to it. We hope football can be an outlet for people to remain connected with their community and that if anyone is struggling that they have the resources and support required to seek help. We hope that your club will support us all in this initiative.

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