The Football Mental Health Alliance has teamed up with West Riding County FA to offer a free webinar for all those involved in grassroots football.
Specifically for players, coaches, parents/carers and volunteers within the grassroots game, the webinar on Monday November 14, will be delivered by Martin Roberts, one of the UK’s leading experts in the lived mental health experience.
A teenage survivor of the Hillsborough disaster, Martin shares his vulnerability by speaking openly about that fateful day and how unbeknown to him, it would be the catalyst of what would be another personal fight for survival some 28 years later.
His signature talk ‘A Walk in My Shoes’ truly shows people how important it is to prioritise their mental health and how leaders, players, staff, coaches and parents/carers within the football community can take key steps to support themselves and those in their care.
Martin will also share the support mechanisms he put in place to aid his recovery and show how anyone can help others experiencing a deterioration in their mental health.
Jo de Tute, head of football development at the West Riding County FA, said: “The mental wellbeing of all those involved in grassroots football is a huge priority for us. We are only too aware of the significant impact the events of the last couple of years and beyond have had – and continue to have – on the mental health of society.
“This webinar will allow people across the whole spectrum of the grassroots game to learn and implement key tips around mental health from a recognised expert.”
Mirfield-based Danny Matharu, founder of The Football Mental Health Alliance and a grassroots coach himself, said: “We are delighted to be working with West Riding FA – an institution that is truly committed not only to providing excellent football educational opportunities but also to supporting the welfare of all those in the grassroots game holistically.
“It is widely recognised that early intervention is key when it comes to maintaining good mental health, so we hope this webinar can help in educating and supporting the mental health of all those who register.
“The plan is for this webinar to be the first in a series across a whole year, offered alongside a full suite of mental health support products for the grassroots game.”
Martin Roberts said: “I am absolutely thrilled to have been invited by The Football Mental Health Alliance and the West Riding FA to share my personal story. As many will know it was a football match on the 15th of April 1989 that nearly cost me my life and did so tragically for 97 other fellow football supporters.
“Some 30 years later it totally defined my personal and professional life. A purpose in life is a life with purpose and I certainly have found mine.
“I commend both organisations for taking the lead on mental health in football and can’t wait to share how all those in the grassroots game can take key steps to support themselves and those around them.”
Delegates can find more information and register for this free webinar at www.thefmha.com/events