Wycombe Wanderers are proud to pledge its support once again to the Time To Change movement, helping to tackle the stigma attached to mental health problems.
Yesterday was World Mental Health Day, and to mark the occasion, the football club have confirmed that its League 1 fixture against Burton Albion at Adams Park on Saturday December 14 will be dedicated to this important campaign, led by Buckinghamshire County Council and Buckinghamshire MIND.
The event follows a similar dedicated fixture of support last April, when supporters of both Wycombe Wanderers and Charlton Athletic demonstrated their personal pledges of support to the cause by creating a light display with their mobile phones at half-time of the League 1 match at Wanderers’ home ground.
As before, young local schoolchildren will be invited to design the cover of the matchday programme, carrying a message about changing attitudes towards mental health and how such problems are talked about and treated amongst friends, family and colleagues.
Also, representatives from Time To Change Buckinghamshire will be present around the stadium to deliver key messages to supporters of both clubs.
Mark Palmer, management consultant at Wycombe Wanderers, said: “It’s felt that the work of Time To Change Buckinghamshire made a fantastic impact when they were here with us in April, and we’re pleased to be welcoming the team back to Adams Park to continue to help change people’s attitudes towards mental health.
“It was a very deliberate choice of fixture for this initiative, being our final home game before Christmas, which is mostly portrayed as a happy time for people and their families, but actually there are many people for whom Christmas is the most difficult and lonely time of year, and they could use the support of those around them to help battle their problems.
“The EFL’s partnership with MIND on a national level has been extremely powerful in raising awareness raising awareness amongst football fans of the need to improve how society treats mental health and encourages those suffering with problems to talk about them.
“Now, to be bringing the Time to Change movement back to Adams Park, we hope this will help any Wycombe or Burton fans who have been struggling with mental health problems, or anyone they know who has, to speak up and seek help from their friends, colleagues or the services provided by Mind.”
Gareth Williams, Cabinet Member for Community Engagement and Public Health, said: “We were extremely pleased with the response from Wycombe and Charlton fans in April and were thrilled to be able to deliver the important Time To Change messages to a large and very engaged audience at that match.
“Everyone at Time To Change Buckinghamshire is grateful for the support of Wycombe Wanderers and its fans, and we look forward to returning in December to show everyone that it is okay to talk about mental health, whether it is you that is struggling or someone you know. A simple conversation can really make a difference.
“Time to Change Buckinghamshire knows that men in particular are not as good at talking about how they feel, so being invited to use this match to raise awareness of the work we do in helping people to talk about their mental health is a great way to reach out to them, especially around Christmas when many people are in need of someone to talk to.”
Find out more about Time to Change Buckinghamshire and how you can get involved with tackling mental health stigma at www.timetochangebucks.org.