Wembley Stadium plays host to mental health event

Monday 05 Oct 2015
Wembley Stadium connected by EE

Wembley Stadium will on Tuesday bring together more than 120 stakeholders from sport and recreation to share good practice around the links between sport and mental health. 

The delegates will participate in an event being run by Sport Minds, a pan-sport movement established to support positive mental health.

The event is being jointly hosted by The Football Association, Mind, the Professional Players Federation and the Sport and Recreation Alliance.

The day will feature a series of expert speakers, interactive workshops and conclude with a panel discussion, with former PFA Chair, Clarke Carlisle, joining proceedings.

Among the sports represented will be football, rugby, golf, table tennis, boxing, athletics and tennis.

Leading organisations from the mental health sector will be present, as well as expert practitioners in the field.

The Football Association has taken a proactive role in the positive role sport can play in mental health – and signposting where support and help can be accessed.

Funke Awoderu, FA equality & diversity manager, explains: “In March 2015, with the Professional Players Federation and Mind, we launched the Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation.

“This aims to bring about a culture change within the sport and recreation sector about mental health.

“We want to encourage people to talk openly about issues they face and seek help when needed.

“The Sport Minds event next week is a further step in bringing this vital issue to the fore.

“Ultimately, we all want to ensure that those experiencing mental health problems do not feel isolated.

“We also want to highlight the highly beneficial role sporting activity can play in staying well and managing a mental health problem.”

Among the speakers are:

• Karen Mellanby, director of networks and communities, Mind

• Dr Kitrina Douglas, research fellow at Leeds Beckett University and former professional golfer

• Conor Cusack, sportsman and mental health advocate

• Darren Bailey, football regulation and administration director, The Football Association

• Gordon Taylor OBE, chief executive of the Professional Footballers Association

• Ron Tulley, head of development, England Boxing

• Andy Baddeley, two‐time Olympian and Britain’s top 1,500m runner.

To conclude the day a panel session will be chaired by Dr Phil Hopley, consultant psychiatrist, MD of LPP Consulting and ex‐professional rugby player.

LPP Consulting is one of the UK's leading organisations dedicated to mental health, wellbeing and people performance.

Dr. Hopley will be in conversation with:

• Clarke Carlisle

• David Velalla, disability tennis network coordinator, Tennis Foundation.

• Natasha Devon MBE, department for education mental health champion for schools and founder of Self-Esteem Team.

By FA Staff