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To mark World Mental Health Day, Everton CEO Professor Denise Barrett-Baxendale, first-team manager Marco Silva and club captain Phil Jagielka have undertaken a mental health awareness training session as part of the Club’s ongoing work to promote positive mental health.
The trio joined other senior Everton figures, including Director of Football Marcel Brands, in undertaking the ‘Ambassadors of Hope’ training, which was delivered by Liverpool-based national mental health charity Chasing the Stigma and its founder, Evertonian Jake Mills.
The session, which took place at the Club’s USM training ground, provided the group with an understanding of mental health and how best to identify the signs that someone may be suffering.
They were also given guidance on how to effectively signpost individuals to support provision using the online resource, The Hub of Hope, and advice on dealing with crisis situations.
Everton Football Club and its official charity, Everton in the Community, has an ongoing commitment to tackling the stigma around mental health and recently launched a new mental health-focused campaign to raise funds to build a permanent facility – called ‘The People’s Place’ – in the shadows of Goodison Park
With a fundraising target of one million pounds, Everton in the Community aims to develop, build and maintain a new purpose-built facility that will become a delivery site for programmes and enable signposting to other services. ‘The People’s Place’ will provide an overarching service to anyone, regardless of age, gender or location, to promote positive mental health and deliver support relating to suicide awareness and prevention.
As part of the campaign, Everton Football Club and its official charity has made a commitment to equip all its staff with an understanding of mental health through accredited training, with Everton CEO Barrett-Baxendale and some of the Club’s most senior officials becoming the first group of staff to complete Chasing the Stigma’s ‘Ambassadors of Hope’ training programme, underlining the importance the Club places on the training.
Chasing the Stigma aims to remove any negativity associated to mental illness by using first-hand experiences to disarm and normalise the topic in order to change the way society approaches mental illness.
Everton first team manager Marco Silva said: “The People’s Place project is important to us as a Club and as a charity – we are more than just a club, we are a family. We want to support our fans and community and do everything we can to help them.”
Club captain Phil Jagielka added: “The statistics around how many people need help – or who, very sadly, don’t receive help in time – are alarming and it opens your eyes. Jake coming here to share his own personal experiences and guide us through the protocol – and what to do and how to be helpful – ensures we are better equipped to help someone in need. It’s being there when someone needs you and making sure you ask the right questions.
Everyone has mental health in the same way that everyone has physical health and one in four people experience poor mental health each year whilst suicide kills 150 people across Merseyside a year. Mental illness and suicide are significant public health challenges which are more common in more significantly deprived inner-city areas such as L4 where almost the entire ward of Everton falls into the most deprived five percent of neighbourhoods nationally.
The People’s Place will be built right in the heart of Liverpool 4 and the new mental health facility, subject to planning permission, will be positioned within the Goodison Campus adjacent to the £1.2million People’s Hub on Spellow Lane – just 200 metres from Goodison Park. A community consultation will take place to ensure that the new building meets the extensive needs and requirements of the local community and brings a significant impact to people’s lives through a diverse range of activities and services.
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