Alongside its official charity, Everton in the Community, the Premier League club has launched its ‘People’s Place’ campaign, which looks to build a mental health centre near to Goodison Park
With the 2018/19 football season just around the corner, Everton football club are kicking off a new campaign to support mental health in their local community, through building a permanent mental health facility 500 metres from Goodison Park.
With the support of manager Marco Silva and the Everton first team squad, alongside Everton CEO Professor Denise Barrett-Baxendale, the club will begin their fundraising drive for the facility at the start of the new season, with the aim for the site to deliver support programmes and signpost people to relevant services that can help them.
The club’s official charity, Everton in the Community, has already been supporting mental health in Merseyside, Liverpool, for more than 10 years. This time, they’ll be teaming up with national mental health charity Chasing the Stigma to promote positive mental health and work to end stigma.
To ensure that the new facility delivers the best possible service, they will consult with the local community to assess their needs and requirements. Additionally, the club and its charity have committed to provide better mental health understanding for its staff through accredited training, so that they are best able to support people with mental ill-health, with Chasing the Stigma partnering up with them to deliver their new “Ambassadors of Hope” training programme which will launch later this month.
CEO of Chasing the Stigma and Evertonian, Jake Mills – who has previously shared his personal mental health journey and inspiration behind creating the charity with Happiful – said:
“We are honoured and excited to be working with Everton football club to address mental health issues within our communities. It is testament to the club that they want to build on the life-changing and pioneering mental health programmes they operate.
“The People’s Place will offer an environment that that will make people feel comfortable when talking about mental health and – most importantly – that they know help is available and no one has to suffer in silence.”
With 150 people completing suicide across Merseyside each year, and given Everton’s often referred to as “The People’s Club”, its focus on supporting the local community’s wellbeing comes as no surprise. “The People’s Place” initiative will look to support everyone, regardless of age, gender or location, and provide mental health support, alongside suicide awareness and prevention.
When discussing “The People’s Place” initiative, Everton CEO Professor Denise Barrett-Baxendale said:
“Many people suffer in silence, unaware that helpful and supportive treatments are available. Our new facility will work to encourage people to talk more freely and will operate an open-door policy to anyone needing to talk.
“There is a real demand for this in our city and our community. Working alongside colleagues at the club, Everton in the Community, external partners, patrons, our supporters and residents we plan on using our skills, expertise and profile to fulfil our aim of building a facility that will help save the lives of people suffering with mental health issues.”
Everton first team manager Marco Silva added: “Since the first day I arrived at the club, everyone talked to me about the Everton Family. We are more than just a club, we are a family. We want to keep creating this fantastic connection between us and our fans and all of the community. We want to support them, and we want to give them something back.
“This People’s Place project is important to us as a club. Me and my staff are here to support and do everything we can.”