Wolves Foundation to expand Head 4 Health project

Wolves Foundation is expanding its pioneering Head 4 Health project to include a new strand focused on supporting women and introducing sessions of one-to-one counselling for all participants. 

Wolves Foundation is expanding its pioneering Head 4 Health project to include a new strand focused on supporting women and introducing sessions of one-to-one counselling for participants. 

Head 4 Health was officially set up back in March of 2019 to improve mental and physical wellbeing in adult males, and provision for females and counselling is now being added to extend the support given to people from across the city. 

The expansion of the programme is thanks to a continuation funding investment from the Premier League, Professional Footballers’ Association Community Fund and City of Wolverhampton Council, which has been extended for another three years.

This funding will also support Head 4 Health in engaging with those people facing a variety of life challenges or complexities which may be impacting negatively on their mental wellbeing.

“It is really great news to have secured this new funding and that we will be able to incorporate the new provision for women and counselling services as part of the overall Head 4 Health project moving forward,” says the Foundation’s health & wellbeing manager Rachel Smith. 

“And we are delighted with the ongoing support from the PLPFA (Premier League (Professional Footballers’ Association Community Fund) and City of Wolverhampton Council, putting their faith in us for another three years to continue to develop a project which is of so much benefit to participants. 

“With these new developments we are only adding to the Head 4 Health programme already in place, nothing is being taken away. 

“We first launched Head 4 Health because of the fact that men are three times more likely to take their own life than women and are also far less likely to access help and support that is available. 

“But we know that women also suffer from poor mental health so it is important that we are now able to include them within the offer. 

“The counselling element is also exciting as it is something we have never done before but there is certainly a need for it especially considering the difficulties people have suffered as a result of the pandemic. 

“With this funding we will be able to offer participants in need, six sessions of private one-to-one counselling which will be of real benefit.” 

Head 4 Health was set up in 2019 offering weekly workshops and drop-in sessions for men covering a wide range of subjects as well as off-site activities helping to promote mental and physical health. 

One of the early participants Dean represented the Foundation in meeting HRH the Duke of Cambridge at the launch of a Heads Up campaign he was spearheading with the FA to change the conversation around mental health. 

During the pandemic the Foundation adapted to offer a variety of ‘virtual’ support online, as well as – when restrictions allowed – meeting up for ‘Walk and Talk’ sessions as well as special projects including heading to music studios at Newhampton Arts Centre to record a music song and video. 

“The plan will be to keep the men’s and women’s Head 4 Health projects separate in terms of the sessions, but we will take feedback along the way and there may be some joint events in other areas such as music for example,” adds Rachel. 

“We know that a lot of people have been impacted by the pandemic and that supporting mental health and wellbeing has probably never been as important and this additional initial funding is part of the council’s response to help people who have been affected. 

“Everyone has mental health and wellbeing which at times can be more positive or more challenging and it is important that as a Foundation we can offer this support, especially after the impact of the pandemic. 

“People can know that there is something out there that doesn’t have to be scary or clinical that can still contribute to having a positive impact on their health and wellbeing.” 

Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council's cabinet member for public health and wellbeing, said: "We are pleased to be able to support the further expansion of this very important programme so that Head 4 Health is able to help all adults in the city who would like to improve their mental health and wellbeing." 

For more information or to get involved in the project, please contact:

Males - Please contact Matt on mattcampbell@wolves.co.uk / 07908 101 608

Females – Please contact Megan on meganwalters@wolves.co.uk / 01902 828366