Millwall Matchday: Hornets Supporting Mental Health Awareness

By: Watford FC Staff

Watford FC is joining forces with Hertfordshire Mind Network in the lead-up to Saturday’s Millwall game to help tackle mental health problems.

Together, we hope to raise awareness among fans about mental health and the support the charity provides, as well as raise vital funds for the organisation.

The virtual matchday comes as part of Mind’s charity partnership with the EFL, which has seen the charity work with all 72 EFL clubs, including the Hornets, to help bring a lasting legacy around mental health in football.

Watford’s players will be wearing t-shirts during the warm-up ahead of kick-off against Millwall, and information about the charity’s important work will be shared on club channels, including during the Hive Live matchday broadcast.

More about Mind

Hertfordshire Mind Network delivers essential mental health support to residents across Hertfordshire, providing a diverse range of services from seven Wellbeing Centres and other venues across all 10 districts of the county, including in Watford.

Funded locally, the charity’s services are available to all residents in Hertfordshire over the age of 18 and dedicated services are offered for 15 to 18-year-olds. Whilst affiliated with Mind, it is an independent charity responsible for its own funding and therefore every penny raised goes towards supporting the lives of local people.

Mind’s own research shows that over half of people (56 per cent) feel that football fans find it easier to show their emotions at football matches than at any other time. Despite this, the charity also knows that many fans, particularly men, are struggling in silence for fear of opening up about their mental health. This is likely to have been made all the worse by the impact of the pandemic. Mind’s most recent research found that more than half of adults and two-thirds of young people said their mental health got worse during the first lockdown.

The charity hopes mental health-themed matchdays like this will begin to open up the conversation among football fans about their mental health, as well as raising awareness about the support offered at this difficult time.

Tape 2 Talk

Coinciding with this weekend’s Hertfordshire Mind Network matchday, Watford FC Academy scholar Max Thompson is launching ‘Tape 2 Talk’, a campaign aimed at raising awareness of mental health issues for young people, particularly footballers.

The 18-year-old has produced sock ties featuring the ‘Tape 2 Talk’ slogan, which will be worn by the Hornets’ Under-18 and Under-23 teams to bring further exposure to the campaign.

Thompson said: “I thought it’d be a good idea to put something on a player that other players can see, as well as spectators and coaches. Talking is important for the mental health of young players.

“Things like being released from a club are hard to deal with and it’s important you have someone there to support you through it. You can have support from family and friends and the club, but you might also want to talk to someone from the outside who can understand your emotions.”

Hear more from Thompson in the interview below.

Find out more

Follow Hertfordshire Mind Network to keep up-to-date with the charity’s important work:

Twitter: @HertsMind
Facebook: @HertsMindNetwork
Instagram: @hertfordshiremind

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