Wycombe Wanderers and Time to Change Buckinghamshire have joined up to tackle the stigma attached to mental health problems, starting by dedicating tonight’s League One match against Charlton Athletic as a Time to Change themed game.
People of all ages have been invited to submit designs for the front cover of the club’s match day programme for this game, and all entrants to the competition will receive two tickets to the match with the overall winner’s design going onto the front cover of the match programme.
Tonight’s activities involve the distribution of key information around the ground to supporters, including information on what to do if you or someone around you is in need of a helping hand, while the Wanderers players will be wearing t-shirts bearing the Time To Change logo, and the Sports & Education Trust will be signing an Employers' Pledge to demonstrate their commitment to change how staff think and act about mental health in the workplace.
Time to Change Buckinghamshire, led by Buckinghamshire County Council and Buckinghamshire MIND, works alongside the established national campaign aiming to change people’s attitudes towards mental health. In Buckinghamshire, we’re working with local communities, workplaces and schools to help end negative attitudes and behaviours towards people experiencing mental health problems.
Wycombe Wanderers Sports & Education Trust, the charitable arm of the football club, will sign its ‘Time to Change’ Employer Pledge on the day of the match. The Employer Pledge is a way for any business or organisation to commit to normalising the conversation about mental health in the workplace by pledging to introduce small changes that overall can make a big difference to attitudes.
Sam Parker, the Community Health Manager of the WWFC Sports & Education Trust, said: “The English Football League and Mind, through their partnership, have done fantastic work already in raising awareness amongst football fans of the need to improve how society treats mental health and encourages those suffering with problems to talk about them.
“We’re thrilled to be bringing the Time to Change movement to Adams Park and we hope this will help any Wycombe or Charlton fans who have been struggling with mental health problems, or anyone they know who has, to speak up and seek help from their friends, colleagues or the services provided by Mind.”
Noel Brown, Buckinghamshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Engagement and Public Health, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to show everyone that it is okay to talk about mental health, whether it is you that is struggling or someone you know. A simple conversation can really make a difference.
“Time to Change Buckinghamshire knows that men are not as good at talking about how they feel, so being invited to use this match to raise awareness of the work we do in helping people to talk about their mental health is a great way to reach out to them. We’re looking forward to seeing everyone have a great time at the match, and don’t forget to design and submit your competition entries before 29 March!”
Find out more about Time to Change Buckinghamshire and how you can get involved with tackling mental health stigma at www.timetochangebucks.org.