Leeds United v Fulham preview, fixture played at Elland Road

Leeds United, we need to talk..

This post isn’t strictly about Leeds United, but it is important.

Today is Time to Talk day.

A day when we are encouraged to talk about our mental health.  

Mental health problems can arise at any time, any age and has no regard for the football team you support.  Whilst sometimes there is an obvious cause (work, family issues, a bereavement), this isn’t always the case.

I am passionate about this subject and keen to ensure that mental health is discussed as freely as having a cold or spraining an ankle.

One in four people will experience a mental health problem in any given year.

If you think of a capacity crowd, that’s the entire lower tier of the East Stand at Elland Road who could be suffering with their mental health. That’s an awful lot of people, but even more concerning is the number who are suffering in silence.

Time to Talk day highlights the need to be able to freely talk about it. However, I don’t believe it should be limited to just one day.  

This is where football can help. It provides an opportunity for people to start a conversation with the benefit of already having something in common.

As I was preparing this post, the words to our anthem came into my head:

We’ve been through it all together, and we’ve had our ups and downs (I bet you sung that as you read it).

No, that line wasn’t written about mental health, but you can see how it could apply. Leeds fans are like no others and we can celebrate the ups with each other, but support through the down times.

This support could be as simple as asking a friend how they are, genuinely listening to their response and being there if they need to talk. In person, on the phone, in a text or via social media, it all helps.

The great thing about Leeds United is that there is always something to talk about, so it’s easier to strike up a conversation with feeling awkward or not knowing what to say.

The conversation doesn’t have to revolve entirely around mental health and sometimes people just need to have a chat and know somebody else is there to listen. That chat might quickly move on to whether Marcelo Bielsa will ever play anybody else up front with Patrick Bamford!

The subject doesn’t matter, but every conversation can help and every “are you okay?” is a step closer to ending the stigma around mental health.

A small way we are supporting is by ensuring that the Ladies Who Leeds page will always feature details of charities and organisations who can provide help, support and emergency assistance.

Mental Health Support

Leave a Reply