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NEWS: CCFC & SBITC team up with Mental Health charities to raise awareness this Saturday

It's OK to Talk

26 September 2018

Club News

NEWS: CCFC & SBITC team up with Mental Health charities to raise awareness this Saturday

It's OK to Talk

26 September 2018

Coventry City and Sky Blues in the Community will be working with Mental Health charities at the game against Sunderland to raise awareness and encourage supporters to talk about their mental well-being.

It Takes Balls To Talk, Coventry and Warwickshire Mind, the Recovery Academy, The Heera Foundation and the Matt Palmer Trust will be working together for the big game on Saturday 29th September at the Ricoh Arena, which will be live on Sky Sports.

Mental Health is an important issue, and men in particular do not talk about it enough. This is despite the facts:

  • Suicide is the biggest cause of death in men under the age of 45
  • Over three quarters of people who kill themselves are male
  • 12.5% of men in the UK are suffering from one of the common mental health disorders, for example, anxiety or depression.

With World Mental Health Day on 10th October, and awareness and talking about Mental Health issues increasing - we see this as a vital opportunity to help. Everyone has days where they feel down, and help is there for you.

Mind is also the Official Charity Partner of the EFL, with the Mind logo on the back of all players shirts for all games this season as part of the new partnership.

A number of activities have been planned for the Sunderland game to raise awareness of the support which is out there for supporters and the general public, and to give supporters the opportunity to do so:

  • It Takes Balls To Talk bus will be on site from 9am next to the Jimmy Hill Statue – volunteers will be at the bus to talk to supporters and provide information and support if necessary
  • Volunteers will be around the concourse to distribute information leaflets
  • Volunteers will be at the Ricoh Arena to raise money to support the work of the organisations
  • Matchday programme PUSB will include two pages dedicated to the charities
  • The scoreboard and tannoy will carry information about the charities and support available
  • Photo pitchside before the game to highlight the work being done by the charities
  • Stickers will be on pies and coffee cups which are sold on matchday to help raise awareness
  • Information tables in the Family Zone and Main Atrium
  • Players will wear Mental Health awareness t-shirts during their warm-up

Nathan Isom, Health Manager at Sky Blues in the Community, said: “Positive Mental Health and Mental Wellbeing are an important part of our lives. Mental Health problems are widespread, meaning most of us will either directly experience a mental health problem or will know someone who is. This event is a great opportunity for us to raise awareness about mental health and wellbeing and get men talking; it’s ok to talk.”

Mark Hornby, Head of Marketing & Communications at Coventry City, said: “We’re delighted to bring together these organisations to work on such an important issue.

“We have seen our former player such as Leon McKenzie, Chris Kirkland and recently Marvin Sordell lead by example and talk openly about their experiences when it comes to their mental health.

“We hope that the activities on Saturday will help to highlight this issue and show to our supporters and the wider community that it is OK to talk about mental health, and that support and help is there for you.”

To see more about each of the organisations involved, visit:

It Takes Ball To Talk - Click Here

Coventry and Warwickshire Mind - Click Here

Recovery Academy - Click Here

The Heera Foundation - Click Here

Matt Palmer Trust - Click Here

The EFL announced their new partnership with Mind at the start of this season, and you can see more about this here.


Further Information and Support:

The Matt Palmer Trust:

The Matt Palmer Trust is a non-profit organisation whose goal is to support mental well-being for all, in memory of our great friend Matt who sadly lost his battle against depression after years of tireless suffering.  We miss him, but are incredibly proud of the work achieved in his name.

Our vision is that anyone that needs it will find the support required to enjoy strong mental health and will not suffer alone.  We raise funds that are issued as grants to charitable organisations and projects to support our vision and raise awareness of depression. 

Our supporters have helped fund and deliver all manner of initiatives including suicide prevention support, continued delivery of Samaritans services in the UK and Ireland, workshops to support Dads in crisis, a conference focusing on mental wellbeing at work, mindfulness courses, sport sessions to raise self-esteem and self-confidence and most recently a series of outside gyms in the Borough of Croydon ensuring access to all. 

Engagement and enjoyment of sporting activity is a key way we believe that personal and mental well-being can be improved and we’re thrilled to partner with Coventry City FC and the Sky Blues in the Community team.

 Find us on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook or contact us on


The Recovery Academy

We all have mental health just like we havephysical health and 72% of us will require some support with mental illness within our life time.

The Recovery & Wellbeing Academy offers free educational courses and workshops to anyone over the age of 18 who resides within Coventry and Warwickshire.

The Academy is a partnership of 25 organisations led by Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust and Coventry and Warwickshire Mind delivering 49 courses such as ‘coping with depression and low mood’, ’money management’ and ’recognising stress and building resilience’.  All courses help to support and empower people to cope with the challenges we can all experience with ourmental wellbeing.

 Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust, It Takes Balls to Talk and Sky Blues in the Community have co-produced a series of ‘Men Talk Sport’ workshops to encourage men to understand their mental wellbeing whilst joining in various sports.

Adam cooper, a mental health worker and Personal trainer involved in leading the workshops has said “Men Talk Sport is a great way for men to meet other men and discuss mental wellbeing, self-help strategies in a sporting environment and hear from men who have experienced mental difficulties and how they overcome them.”

For more information about the Men Talk Sport workshops and the Recovery & Wellbeing Academy visit:


It Takes Balls To Talk 

It Takes Balls to Talk will be at the match on Saturday. You will see volunteers in their Yellow T-Shirts giving out specialised cards and having conversations about mental well-being.

They are there because suicide is the biggest killer of men under 50, more than cancer and road traffic accidents together. Men are three times more likely to take their lives than women. One reason for this is that men often find it difficult to reach out and talk about how they feel.

We are encouraging men to talk and everyone to be a “listening mate”. Speaking out, and being listened to, enables others to support you through hard times such as; debt worries, relationship breakdown, ill-health, injury, loss of employment, bereavement, being a carer or feeling like a burden on those who care, alcohol and drug mis-use.

Speaking out is a strength, not a weakness. Tell your mates today, if you are off your game, I’m a listening mate. Make your goal saving lives. 

We love to bring the It Takes Balls to Talk message to smaller clubs and male dominated workplaces. If you would like us to visit you, or would like to join our volunteers, email

Coventry & Warwickshire Mind:

We are Coventry & Warwickshire Mind, a local mental health charity providing mental health services across the county.

Affiliated to Mind, the leading mental health charity in England and Wales, Coventry and Warwickshire Mind has been serving the community for more than 50 years by developing and delivering quality services with, and for, people with mental health problems.

It is our mission to make sure no-one experiences a mental health problem alone.

We want to make sure everyone with a mental health problem gets the support they need and the respect they deserve. This could mean having access to information, a listening ear, or more specialist support and services to help someone to live and recover from their mental health problem.

We are proud to work with partner organisations to improve the lives of people in the area, and deliver a range of services for adults and children and young people. They include community and accommodation support, drop-ins and one-to-one sessions as well as wellbeing courses for individuals and the workplace.

For more information about Coventry and Warwickshire Mind, visit our website


The Heera Foundation:

The Heera Foundation aims to narrow the gap between Mental Health and Mindfulness provision and its accessibility. We believe in the importance of the well-being of one’s mind. Every parent has a heera (diamond) that deserves to prosper in life. It is courageous to admit that one can find themselves feeling vulnerable due to the pressures of expectation and everyday life. It is also acceptable for one to seek support in order to rebuild, rejuvenate and strengthen one’s mind.

We have seen a shocking increase in the tragedies resulting due to mental health issues and so need to raise awareness in our communities of what provision is accessible for families and those suffering alone. Mental health is an illness and every illness requires treatment. Why are we not fully aware of the steps that we should take and if aware, why are we not tapping into the resources that are available to help?

It’s time for us to change. It’s time for us to talk.  It’s time to let our diamonds continue to shine….  

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