Wolverhampton Wanderers Foundation have teamed up with health chiefs to kick off a new men's mental wellbeing project in the city.
Head 4 Health, funded by the Premier League & Professional Football Association Community Fund, Wolverhampton Clinical Commissioning Group and the City of Wolverhampton Council, is a three-year project, with regular six-week programmes designed to improve the mental and physical health of local men.
It offers a variety of physical activity sessions including football, cricket, walking and badminton as well as workshops focusing on good mental health, alcohol awareness and coping with stress.
There is also a weekly drop-in session for men to come and talk with others in a relaxed and informal environment and, at the end of the six weeks, participants will be invited to keep in touch by continuing to attend physical activity and drop in sessions. The majority of activities take place at Molineux Stadium, with the remainder at other locations around Wolverhampton city centre.
Head 4 Health has been developed by the Wolverhampton Wanderers Foundation and the City of Wolverhampton Council's Public Health team, with funding from the Premier League and Professional Footballers' Association Community Fund, Wolverhampton Clinical Commissioning Group and the council.
A number of other organisations are supporting with the delivery of the workshops, including NHS Healthy Minds, Recovery Near You, Service User Involvement Team, Wolverhampton Samaritans, Starfish, Mind at Work, the Refugee and Migrant Centre and P3.
Wolverhampton Wanderers Foundation Senior Health Officer Rachel Smith said: "We are delighted to be offering the Head 4 Health programme and we have had some very positive feedback from our first group of participants.
“They have told us how enjoyable the sessions are, how the programme has improved their mental and physical wellbeing, and that they feel more able to share their feelings and talk about the issues they are facing."
Councillor Hazel Malcolm, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "We are determined to do all we can to improve the mental and physical health of our residents.
“We know that around one in eight men in England have a mental health issue, but that they are often reluctant to discuss it, or to get help. The Head 4 Health programme brings together a wide range of activities and services to give them the support they need to improve both their mental and physical health in a relaxed, informal way."
Nick Perchard, Head of Community, Premier League, said: “The Head 4 Health project will enable the excellent team at Wolverhampton Wanderers Foundation to provide consistent and meaningful health and wellbeing support for the local community over a sustained period.”
John Hudson, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at the Professional Footballers Association, added: “Addressing key local priorities is exactly what the Premier League and PFA Community Fund is intended for. The Head 4 Health project is designed to challenge stigma, engage individuals who require support and deliver impactful activities to support mental health management.”
“We are proud to be supporting such a meaningful project in Wolverhampton, alongside the football club, its Foundation and many other key local partners.”
Steven Marshall, Director of Strategy and Transformation for Wolverhampton Clinical Commissioning Group, added: “We are jointly commissioning this service to enable men in Wolverhampton to improve both their physical and mental health.”
People can self-refer to the Head 4 Health programme, with the next course due to begin at the end of March. For more information on Head 4 Health or to register please contact Luke Shail or Rachel Smith via firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, or call 01902 828366.