The English Football League (EFL) has extended its partnership with Mind (Mind.org.uk), continuing support for the mental health charity’s flagship ‘On Your Side’ campaign.
Operating since 2012, Mind seeks to raise funds improving UK support networks and volunteer training programmes tackling the complexities of mental health issues and its impacts on victims’ families, friends and communities.
Partnering with the EFL in 2018, Mind launched its nationwide ‘On Your Side’ campaign seeking to increase the visibility of mental health awareness and treatment across English football grounds.
Further partnership initiatives have seen Mind develop mental health programmes for individual EFL clubs, offering support and training for all levels of club staff, including athletes.
Paul Farmer Chief Executive of Mind, said: “Working with the EFL and its 71 Clubs over the past two seasons has given us a brilliant opportunity to bring about real change, not only at community and club level but also nationally.
“We look to continue this vital work in the seasons ahead with ambitious plans to reach more people who feel they have nowhere to turn and to ensure that whoever a fan supports, our partnership with the EFL means Mind is here to support them.”
During 2019, NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens criticised football leadership for allowing sports betting to be normalised through sponsorships and advertising during all matchdays.
Lambasting football governance, he recommended to government ministers that a football betting sponsorship levy should be implemented on clubs, helping the NHS raise funds tackling problem gambling and mental health issues.
Expanding mental health initiatives, EFL Chairman Rick Parry said: “Since the ‘On Your Side partnership began ahead of the 2018/19 season, we have worked closely with Mind and EFL Clubs to improve the approach to mental health in football and wider society, raising awareness and vital funds for the charity.”
“While important and positive steps have been made through the partnership, there is still work to be done to improve mental health within football and we look forward to working with Mind over the next two seasons as we continue to tackle one of society’s biggest issues.”