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World mental health day – Tackling the mind

Sunday the 10th of October is World Mental Health Day. This day provides an opportunity for charities and support groups working on mental health issues to mobilize their efforts and talk about their work.

Local mental health charity Kick Start FC have been using football for almost two years to encourage people to start “tackling the mind”. Kick Start FC host weekly football sessions which are designed to get participants active, build confidence, create a support network and offer social inclusion. All elements which are fundamental to promoting positive mental wellbeing.

To mark World Mental Health Day Kick Start FC are hosting a ‘mixed-gender’ football match and are inviting people to come along to show their support along with a function in the afternoon with live entertainment, food buffet and a raffle with prizes such as beauty hampers and football tickets.

Kick Start FC Founder Michael Cunningham said “We have over 100 men and woman from all walks of life turn up to our sessions on a weekly basis to get active and do something to help with their mental wellbeing. Hosting a football match which everyone can be a part of is a great way to celebrate the successes we have had as a team; but individually aswell. It also gives people the opportunity to come along and meet some of the team and create a better understanding of what Kick Start FC is all about.”

1 in 4 people here in the UK will experience a mental health problem of some kind each year and since opening last February, over 280 men and women have attended the weekly football sessions. These sessions run for free of charge and run in Andover and Tidworth. As well as running football sessions Kick Start FC also host regular group walks, MHFA Awareness courses and talking support groups.

Tiffany Mundy who attends the women’s session said “Kick Start FC has become like a big family to me. They have helped me so much and I thank every single person I have met since I started attending the sessions. Normally mental health can be so hard to talk about but they have made it so easy and comfortable for me to be open about my depression. The support from Michael and the ladies in the team has been incredible. I have met some wonderful friends and because of this, I have something to look forward too every week. Like the saying goes; when you find something good, never let go of it, and that’s the way I feel about this group.”

If you would like to show your support and help Kick Start FC shine a spotlight on mental health, their ‘mixed-gender’ football match kicks off at 10:30 at The Wellington Academy in Ludgershall on Sunday the 10th of October. They are also holding a function with live entertainment and raffle which starts at 14:00 at The Clarendon Club in Tidworth.

Please visit www.kickstartfc.org for more information on Kick Start FC, their mission and how you can get involved.

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