Published: 10:43, 05 April 2021
| Updated: 10:49, 05 April 2021
Free football sessions inspired by the positive impact of sport on mental health are being launched to help give men the chance to talk while getting fit.
Delivered by The Charitable Football Club, the Head in the Game project is aimed at men between 25 and 55 in Thanet, which has one of the highest male suicide rates in the county.
The Isle also has the highest hospital admissions for all mental health conditions and the highest prevalence of psychosis.
Across Kent, the number of men taking their lives has reached a five-year high, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.
The new Head in the Game scheme, supported by Kent County Council and in partnership with Talk Club, aims to increase positive mental health and reduce the stigma surrounding the issue.
Club chairman Mark Pinkney says periods of poor mental health can affect anyone at any point during their lifetime.
"The aim of our project is to give men from Thanet an opportunity to talk, to get fit, whilst playing a sport that they love," he said.
"The stigma around mental health is something that we as a club are determined to address, especially after the negative impact that the pandemic has had on everyone's wellbeing over the last 12 months."
Sessions will take place every Monday, starting April 12 at the Minster 3G pitch at 8pm.
Each session involves football training from The Charitable Football Club and Talk Club coaches, a small-sided match and a Talk Club session for men.
It is free and to men of any footballing ability.
Each session will have a focus on men's mental health and wellbeing and will provide an outlet in a secure and trusted environment.
Anyone wishing to attend is asked to bring suitable football clothing such as sportswear, boots and shin pads.
For more information and to sign up visit https://headinthegame.co.uk.