Newcastle United to open their doors for free men’s mental health support

Newcastle United are to provide a safe, confidential space for men to talk openly about mental health matters through their Be A Game Changer campaign.

Friday, 19th November 2021, 12:01 am

Each week, men from across the region can attend a peer support group hosted by the club’s official charity arm, the Newcastle United Foundation, in partnership with Andy’s Man Club, a charity which aims to get men talking about mental health.

It was founded in 2016 after 23 year-old Andy Roberts took his own life. Andy’s Man Club now has around 70 branches nationally. The talking group is one of several health and wellbeing services available through the foundation for International Men’s Day.

International Men’s Day is celebrated every November 19. It provides opportunities to help men and boys through conversations about men, manhood and masculinity.

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St James' Park is opening its doors for men to talk openly about their mental health.

Themes include male suicide rates and mental health issues, which the foundation aims to tackle through its campaign.

The support group is free and runs every Monday night from 7pm at the St James’ Park, for all men aged 18 or over who face challenges in any aspect of life. Booking is not required.

Ashley Lowe, health and wellbeing manager at Newcastle United Foundation, said: “Suicide rates among men in the North East are among the highest in the country, so we’re doing everything we can to address that and to break down the stigmas that prevent people from seeking help.

“It can be incredibly daunting to talk about how we are really feeling, and we understand that it can be difficult to start those conversations with family, friends and loved ones.

“Our Monday night peer support group is an opportunity for men to come to St. James’ Park, sit with a hot drink and to simply talk about their lives. Everyone will be listened to and supported through whatever challenges they’re facing.

“We launched Be A Game Changer knowing that at any given United home game, around 12,989 supporters will be experiencing a mental health problem.”

Neil Waine of Andy’s Man Club, said: “The club is a safe, non-judgemental, confidential space for men to go and about talk openly with their peers.

“Our sessions at St James’ Park are challenging the stigmas that stop men from talking; stigmas like weakness, burden and embarrassment.”

For more information about Be A Game Changer, visit www.nufoundation.org.uk/beagamechanger.

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