Tuesday’s ‘Match For Mind’ not only helped keep the conversation going for mental health, but supporters also showed their generosity with fundraising for the local Mind branch.
Blues’ clash with Yeovil Town was used to encourage those struggling to speak out and seek help.
Chris Phillips from the Southend Echo joined Sarah Franklin, Scott Wheeler, Charlie Blissett and Robert Askew in walking 22 miles with the match-ball to the game.
And more than £5,000 has now been raised!
Players from both sides wore warm-up t-shirts with the logo of South Essex and Central Mind on.
Chris, who is also a trustee for SECE Mind, said: "We walked from Chelmsford to Southend as that’s exactly the area SECE Mind covers.
"It was a real team effort but hopefully the walk and the game will have helped to raise awareness.
"I know myself that when you’re struggling you can sometimes hide away and keep quiet but that never helps.
"We wanted to get the message across that you’re never alone and hopefully between us all we’ve done that.
"The club have been brilliant so a big thanks must go to them and everyone has been really supportive.
"A massive thank you must always go to everyone who donated on the night and Southend winning was a perfect way to finish the night off.
"I’m normally quite superstitious with these kinds of things, but I’m certainly not walking to every game now."
The five walkers, who are all members of the Run Free support group, began their walk shortly after 9am at Essex Cricket Club.
The long journey received widespread media coverage to further help in raising awareness.
And walker Charlie Blissett felt the pain endured during the walk had all been worthwhile.
"The walk was very tough,” said Charlie.
"But to be part of raising a great amount of money for SECE Mind was worth it and obviously Blues winning was the cherry on top of the cake."
Former Southend United captain Chris Barker was found dead at his home in 2020, while Yeovil Town captain Lee Collins was discovered dead in a hotel room last year.
The message that was presented in a pre-match video was nobody should ever feel like they're alone. Help is out there.
SECE Mind offers a wide range of services and can be contacted by anyone in need of help. Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re struggling.
Watch the video here:
Tomorrow we take on @YTFC at Roots Hall.— Southend United (@SUFCRootsHall) January 10, 2022
The game is our dedicated #MatchForMind 🧠
We'll be raising awareness for @SE_CE_MIND and encouraging anyone who's struggling to speak out. 🗣️
It's vital to remember that '𝗬𝗼𝘂'𝗿𝗲 𝗡𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿 𝗔𝗹𝗼𝗻𝗲'.
👉 https://t.co/FSRJVyWxI2 pic.twitter.com/CZKsjmVSzo