“Stigma Doesn’t Play, I Do” – Shelbourne FC and St Patrick’s Mental Health Services team up to end mental health stigma
Shelbourne FC home and away kits to display message “Stigma Doesn’t Play, I Do”
Shelbourne Football Club (FC) and St Patrick’s Mental Health Services are delighted to announce a multi-faceted partnership aiming to reframe mental health stigma and promote mental wellbeing in the community.
Shelbourne FC is committed to embedding mental health promotion as a core value of its club ethos, and sees the holistic development of young club members, via the Shelbourne FC Youth Academy, with a membership of over 400 young people in particular, as a key part of its community work.
St Patrick’s Mental Health Services is Ireland’s largest, not-for-profit mental health service provider. Its vision is to see a society where all citizens are empowered and given the opportunity to live mentally healthy lives.
Mental health stigma can impact how quickly we seek support when we need it.
In 2020, St Patrick’s launched the first phase of its #NoStigma campaign to reframe mental health stigma and discrimination by showing the positive effect on life when they are not experienced. Its aim is to highlight how it serves us all collectively when stigma does not exist, enabling us to fully participate and access support at home, at work and in our communities.
Taking part in community life through participation in community activities such as sport, through playing, volunteering or supporting, can positively impact mental health in daily life and can support recovery for those experiencing difficulties. Fear of mental health stigma and discrimination has the potential to hold us back unnecessarily from doing these things or from seeking support from teammates or peers.
Kicking off the partnership, and to mark the second phase of the #NoStigma campaign, Shelbourne FC will be adding the #NoStigma campaign message “Stigma Doesn’t Play, I Do”, to the men and women’s senior teams’ home and away day match kits. The collaboration aims to create an openness and understanding about mental health and promote wellbeing among those involved with Shelbourne FC, particularly its young club members.
A recent survey carried out by the Central Statistics Office showed that almost 60% of people say their mental health has been impacted by the pandemic, with younger people more likely to have experienced recent difficulties with their wellbeing.
This is felt among all age groups throughout its club and community.
The collaboration will include:
- Promotion of the #NoStigma message via the Shelbourne FC newly team kits
- Development of bespoke mental health promotion resources and information for club members
- Participation of young club members in Walk in My Shoes initiatives, St Patrick’s Mental Health Services’ flagship mental health education and awareness-raising campaign for young people
- Providing information and encouraging people to seek support when needed.
This initiative is particularly meaningful for members and supporters of Shelbourne FC, who sadly lost two supporters to suicide in 2018. In the same year, the club also experienced the tragic and sudden loss of a young player during one of a match due to a rare heart condition. These events have left a lasting imprint on the club, and supporting and promoting mental health within the Shelbourne FC community has become intrinsic to its core values.
With over 1,000 club members of all ages, including 400 boys and girls in its Youth Academy, Shelbourne FC and St Patrick’s Mental Health Services have identified a significant opportunity to come together to leave mental health stigma behind.
Shelbourne FC CEO, David O’Connor, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be able to announce this incredibly important partnership with St Patrick’s Mental Health Services, and we look forward to working closely with their fantastic team on several innovative initiatives throughout the year. We strongly believe that football has a growing role to play in opening up the discussion around mental health and wellbeing, and as a club, we are determined to play a leading role in advocating this. There is still a long way to go to normalise discussion and action around mental health, but we hope that this multi-faceted partnership with St Patrick’s Mental Health Services will go a long way towards achieving that.”
Shelbourne FC Head of Media, Gavin White, said: “This partnership is a significant moment for our club as it has come to terms with the loss of two of our friends and supporters, as well as the death of Izzy Dezu, who collapsed and died during a Shelbourne FC Academy game in 2018. Coupled with the Covid-19 pandemic, we find ourselves compelled to lead through actions and directly employ the resources that can have lasting impacts on the young people in our community. Our young players have been unable to play the game that for many can be their highlights of their week, or simply an escape. Without this it has been challenging for them and their coaches. These resources can help them learn to be mentally well, and kick out the stigma of feeling bad mentally. It will also show them that we’re with them every step of the way, as we are with our supporters, coaches and volunteers.”
CEO of St Patrick’s Mental Health Services, Paul Gilligan, said: “We are delighted to partner with Shelbourne FC to build on the #NoStigma message within the community. As we continue to tackle the mental health challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, this partnership is an opportunity to emphasise the importance of leaving mental health stigma behind and to highlight how supporting one another can positively impact a person’s mental health journey. Our 2020 Annual Stigma survey showed that one in five of us has had a positive experience of talking about a mental health difficulty in our local community. Let’s make this everyone’s reality.”
For further information or to arrange a media interview, please contact:
- Sinéad Makk, Communications Officer, St Patrick’s Mental Health Services
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / Tel: 085 747 2525
- Fiona Farrell, Communications Manager, St Patrick’s Mental Health Services
Email: email@example.com / Tel: 086 408 8483
- Gavin White, Head of Media, Shelbourne FC
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / Tel: 0873182749
Notes to Editors:
The following proposals will form part of the ongoing campaign for 2021:
- Campaign messaging on the club’s home and away match day kit with “Stigma Doesn’t Play, I do” for our men and women’s senior teams.
- Reserved places on the Walk in My Shoes Transition Year Programme for Youth Academy Members, with the aim of them becoming ‘mental health champions’ within the Academy community
- Messaging throughout our Academy facility enabling conversations throughout our teams
- Online campaigns centred around our raising awareness for our adult members, as well as younger fans to remove the stigma of mental health.
- Online interactive event on the theme of mental health promotion/ways to keep wellthat includes a panel of speakers from St Patrick’s Mental Health Services and Shelbourne FC staff
- A special webpage comprising the campaign’s resources and mental health promotion information and supports.
A recent survey carried out by the Central Statistics Office showed that almost 60% of people say their mental health has been impacted by the pandemic, with younger people more likely to have experienced recent difficulties with their well-being. – Fifth Social Impact of Covid-19 survey, from the Central Statistics Office
Our 2020 Annual Stigma survey showed that one in five of us has had a positive experience of talking about a mental health difficulty in their local community. – SPMHS Annual Attitudes and Stigma Survey 2020
Shelbourne Football Club
Shelbourne FC is a leading Irish professional football club with an illustrious past and exciting future. The club is a true Dublin institution, formed in 1895, 126 years ago. Shelbourne FC has a decorated past having won the national title 13 times and the national cup 11 times as well as many famous European nights. Shelbourne’s men’s and women’s teams both compete in the SSE Airtricity League with both teams playing out of Tolka Park, on Dublin’s northside.
St Patrick’s Mental Health Services
St Patrick’s Mental Health Services is Ireland’s largest independent, not-for-profit mental health service provider, providing inpatient care through its three approved centres; St Patrick’s University Hospital, St Patrick’s, Lucan and Willow Grove Adolescent Unit, as well as community and outpatient care through its nationwide Dean Clinic network.
St Patrick’s Mental Health Services provides a range of mental health services for adolescents and adults and offers remote access to all services, in addition to a Homecare service that consists of the highest levels of one-to-one support, provided remotely, to ensure service users receive necessary care and treatment, through daily or more frequent contact, along with psychopharmalogical input arranged in liaison with local pharmacies.
The organisation’s mental health services cater for addictions and dual diagnosis, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, depression, eating disorders, psychosis and mental health difficulties in older adults as well as young adults.
Walk in My Shoes is St Patrick’s Mental Health Services’ flagship awareness-raising and education campaign. Established in 2012, Walk in My Shoes runs initiatives throughout the year to promote positive mental health in schools and communities around Ireland, including the Mission Possible school achievement awards, the Frame of Mind short-film competition, #MindYourSelfie free eBooks and School Resources and the Transition Year Programme. For more, please visit www.walkinmyshoes.ie, or follow us on Twitter (@walkinmyshoes), Facebook (WalkInMyShoes) or Instagram (@stpatricks_wims).