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Club News

Mental Health Awareness Week: Robert Askew’s Story

13 May 2019

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week – and what better time to show your support for better mental health.

Mental health problems can affect anyone, any day of the year. Every year, one in four of us will experience a mental health problem. But hundreds of thousands of people are still struggling. That could be hundreds of football players, and thousands of football fans.

At the start of the 2018/19 season the EFL joined forces with Mind Charity, who became their Official Charity Partner to promote the benefits of healthy bodies and healthy minds, by using the power of football to improve the nation’s mental wellbeing in a ground-breaking new partnership.

The ‘On Your Side’ campaign was designed to improve the approach to mental health in football, and to raise funds to deliver life changing support.

Southend United supporter and season card holder for several years who also follows the team up and down the country, Robert Askew, has been affected by mental health issues, but found comfort and support through this special partnership.

We invited Robert along to speak to us about his story, about how football has helped him overcome issues and in particular how wearing his pin badge has helped him spread the word about mental health.

Robert said: “Sometimes you might not want to do things, you may feel down and not want to go out or get involved in things, but I look forward to the games. I’m not a particularly sociable person, I find it hard around new people, but football allows me to come out of my shell. It’s a good medicine for me.”

Jack Holloway, Mind’s Media Relations Manager, said: “The great news is that through this partnership we’ve already started to see a huge response from clubs and fans like Robert.”

Watch the full feature with Robert and Jack below.

We presented Robert with a signed shirt prior to the Wycombe game at Roots Hall where he also posed for a picture with striker Simon Cox and defender John White as a thank you for opening up and sharing his story about mental health. We’d also like to thank Jack from Mind Charity for visiting us at Roots Hall and taking part in the feature the game as well as offering support to Robert.

If you want to find out more about mental health problems or you want to chat to someone about your own experience then Mind offer a range of services. Call the Mind Infoline on 0300 123 3393 or text 86463.

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