Rainhill United Junior Football Club, a local Charter Standard football club, launched a brand-new mental health awareness initiative on Monday 20 January, aimed specifically for their coaches and volunteers at Rainhill High School.
In an evening led by Club Welfare Officer Neil Rynn, together with Club Chairman Gareth Clarke, the event was attended by 50+ coaches and volunteers who are attached with the club.
Supported and opened by Liverpool County FA’s Designated Safeguarding Officer, Gordon Johnson, the event included content provided by two inspirational speakers; Colin Dolan, a mental health campaigner, and Chief Executive of the Mental Health Football Association – and former Manchester City and England international footballer – David White, co-founder of the SAVE Association.
Topics focused on during the evening included the below, with the club now intent on ensuring that all involved take care of their mental health.
- Spotting the signs of mental health issues
- Supporting those experiencing issues with mental health
- Signposting to those that are able to offer professional support
County FA Designated Safeguarding Officer, Gordon Johnson, said: “It was a pleasure to assist and be involved with such a forward-thinking community inclusive football club.”
Colin Dolan, Mental Health Football Association Chief Executive, added: “It was a pleasure to be involved, to talk about the importance of early intervention, to share my mental health journey and outline how returning to football saved my life.”
Meanwhile, Gareth Clarke, Chairman of Rainhill United Junior Football Club, said: “We had an insightful evening at our first Mental Health Awareness Evening. Two brave and inspirational men, Colin Dolan and David White, supported by Gordon Johnson at Liverpool County FA, spoke about looking after our own and our players’ mental health. Moving forwards, this is just the start of our new club initiative.”