Our friends and colleagues at the Football Supporters Association have launched #TerraceTalk - a supporter-led initiative aimed at encouraging football fans to speak honestly about any mental health issues the Covid-19 Pandemic has caused.
#TerraceTalk will feature a series of events across 2021 which will include training for staff and volunteers, panel discussions and the publication of shared resources.
The aim of the campaign is to encourage open and honest conversations about mental health and encourage supporters who need them to seek out mental health support services.
A central theme of #TerraceTalk is to also recognise the value that social aspects of the matchday routine provide to fans up and down the country.
As the FSA reported back in December, fan groups across the country have already begun discussing mental health issues, as well as raising awareness of the services and support available.
“The pandemic, and lack of in-person football, has had a serious impact on our collective mental health,” said Deborah Dilworth, the FSA’s EFL network manager.
“It feels like an important moment to establish and develop supporter-led work on a national level around mental health.
“#TerraceTalk will hopefully encourage fans to keep an eye out for each other and check in on a friend or fellow supporter you’d normally see at the match.”
Supported by the EFL and Mind’s ‘On Your Side’ partnership, #TerraceTalk aims to compliment existing initiatives in football.
Much of the planning and preparation for the launch of this campaign has been carried out by supporter representatives from the FSA’s EFL Network – aiming to raise awareness of critical mental health issues and deliver initiatives at club level.
Gemma Teale, from Brentford Independent Association of Supporters and LGBeeTs who has been working on the project’s sub-committee, said: “Mental health is important to us all, and especially at a time when so many of the ways we look after ourselves are not available to us, we need to talk and support one another.
“We can’t be on the terraces but we can make sure we still have our #TerraceTalk and keep those connections that are what makes being part of the football family great.”
Geoff Bielby from Hull City Supporters’ Trust (HCST) said: “Over the last four years HCST and our colleagues at other trusts have been working hard on mental health issues and trying to get people to seek help when they need it.
“Football, and the matchday routine, is a vital social release for so many and a year of behind-closed-door games has really taken its toll. We’re acutely aware of how damaging lockdown has been on our mental health – it’s so important that supporters come together in whatever way they can to fill that void.”
If you would like to know more about #TerraceTalk visit www.thefsa.org.uk
Contact Mind for dealing with mental health matters during lockdown. Mind also have a partnership with the EFL and run a joint Have Your Mate’s Back campaign. Other useful resources…
- Age UK – call 0800 678 1602 8am-7pm
- Alcoholics Anonymous or call 0800 9177 650
- CALMzone – call 0800 585858
- Childline or call 0800 1111
- Mental Health First Aid (England)
- Mental Health First Aid (Wales)
- Mental Health Matters
- National Domestic Abuse Helpline – call 0808 2000 247
- National Gambling Helpline or call 0808 8020 133
- Samaritans – 116 123 call any time for free
- For medical advice call the NHS on 111.