Cambridge United announce 'Mentally Healthy' action plan | Cambridge United Community Trust

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Cambridge United announce 'Mentally Healthy' action plan

Cambridge United Community Trust are delighted to reveal that we will be continuing to deliver mental health projects throughout the wider Cambridge community throughout the 2018/2019 season. These projects form part of Cambridge United’s overall commitment to becoming a ‘mentally healthy’ football club and leading the way in terms of mental health provision within the sport.

Cambridge United have just announced the ‘Mentally Healthy’ action plan to improve mental health provision both within the Club and the wider Cambridge community. Building on the success of our pilot scheme earlier this year, the Trust will be delivering the following programmes:

‘Mind Your Head’ School Programme

The Community Trust will expand the ‘Mind Your Head’ school programme for the coming academic year; we are set to go into 10 schools and meet around 1,000 students aged 11-14. The programme helps promote positive mental health through the power of sport. Watch this space for more details!

Club and Community Mental Health Drop-In sessions

The Community Trust will continue to hold mental health drop in sessions throughout the season at the Abbey Stadium in partnership with trained psychologists from Cambridgeshire County Council. These sessions aim to encourage people who might not usually seek help to do so by accessing services based at Cambridge United. The Club has also been actively supporting the STOP Suicide campaign led by Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and South Lincolnshire (CPSL) Mind in partnership with local NHS teams over recent months.

Cambridge United will also be promoting mental well-being amongst Club players and staff through 2 new initiatives:

Mental Health First Aid Training

All coaches will receive mental health first aid training, which will help them support players of all ages during stressful times and promote greater personal resilience and positive mental health.

First Team and Academy ‘Mental Health Champions’

The Club has appointed David Forde, Vicky Neal and Sam Squire as ‘Mental Health Champions’ for the men’s and women’s first team and the Academy. They will be actively promoting positive mental health within the Club and amongst the playing staff, encouraging greater conversation about an issue that affects us all.

Community Trust Chairman Graham Daniels said:

“There is wide recognition now of the need to promote positive mental health just as much as physical health in professional sport. Several of our former players have spoken eloquently of the challenges they have faced and the dark times they have gone through.

“Cambridge United wants to take a leadership position on the issue at the Club and offer more support. This plan builds on a lot of great work done last season on the issue - at the Club and in the community. Taken together it can help us become a ‘mentally healthy’ football club and hopefully contribute to future success on and off the pitch. We are very grateful to Inc who have helped drive and support this project from the start.”

Head Coach Joe Dunne said:

“This is a very positive initiative which everyone at the Club is right behind. Every single one of us has mental health. We can all have good days and bad days. In professional sport the mental challenges can often be great - given the pressures of results and performance. I want us to give even more support to players and encourage everyone at the Club to talk more openly about how they are feeling as we all stand to benefit as a result.”

David Forde said:

“I was very pleased to be asked to become the First Team Mental Health Champion and it is great to see the Club taking a lead on the issue. I have spoken about the importance of mental health a lot in the past. I know how much it matters to all of us and I look forward to helping wherever I can during the coming season.”

Sam Squire said:

“I have really enjoyed working with local schools over the last year as part of the ‘Mind Your Head’ community initiative. It is great it is continuing for another year. I understand the pressures young people can face - particularly in the social media age - and this programme is helping them develop greater personal resilience to deal with them. I also look forward to leading on the issue with the some of the younger players at the Club.”

Vicky Neal said:

“The CUFC women’s team is right behind this important programme. If we are as mentally fit as possible then that can only help our performance on the pitch.”

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