ENGLISH FOOTBALL LEAGUE PROMOTES MENTAL HEALTH
Mental health is an issue that increasingly concerns business. With fast-paced, demanding jobs and high-intensity programmes, employees often don’t get the opportunity for self-care.
To honour the occasion of World Mental Health Day, mental health charity Mind, which has collaborated with English Football League (EFL) this season, released a video produced by branding and communications agency Our Design Agency (ODA). The video and a live appearance by footballers today at King’s Cross station promotes EFL and Mind’s partnership, ‘On Your Side.’
Grant Willis, creative director at ODA, says, “This partnership between the UK’s biggest mental health charity and the country’s biggest football league is a golden opportunity to share potentially life-saving messages with an audience that’s notoriously hard to reach. Our job is to come up with creative, eye-catching ways to bring the partnership to the attention of as many people as possible over the coming two years.”
The video follows grounds staff in their preparations for a big match at Millwall FC’s grounds in south London. At the end of the video, the traditional pitch markings are redrawn as the Mind logo, while the strapline ‘Whoever you support, we’re here to support you’ appears as the subtitle of the video.
Willis says, “By using the EFL’s network of clubs and community trusts to promote its messages, Mind will reach millions across the UK.”
To further promote the partnership between EFL and Mind, as well as the cause the partnership addresses, football players from EFL clubs made an appearance at King’s Cross on World Mental Health Day, demonstrating how football can help with mental health issues.
James Shea from Luton Town, Deji Oshilaja from AFC Wimbledon, Luke Prosser from Colchester United and Darius Charles from Wycombe Wanderers, each spent half an hour within a live exhibit posing as footballers with visible and invisible health problems, in full view of passengers at the station.
The location of the exhibition was not chosen incidentally but was the result of EFL’s research, revealing that one in four fans rely on train travel to attend away fixtures in the Sky Bet Championship, or Sky Bet League One and League Two, mirroring the percentage of people experiencing mental health problems.
Debbie Jevans, interim chair of the EFL, says, “Every day throughout the year the EFL, through its 72 clubs and their support staff ensure players improve and maintain their physical health. The focus on mental health should be no different, and every year one in four of us will experience a mental health problem. With one in four EFL supporters using train travel to attend matches we chose King’s Cross Station to highlight the need to raise awareness of the challenges around mental health and the work the EFL and its charity partner, Mind will be doing to offer help and support those in need.”
For more from Communicate magazine, follow us on Twitter @Communicatemag