Charity uses football to boost mental health

Tim Stoodley founder of Mind Kicks. Submitted
Tim Stoodley founder of Mind Kicks. Submitted
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A Bourne man has launched a charity that is working with professional football clubs to help men beat mental health issues.

Mind Kicks was set up last month by Tim Stoodley, an avid Peterborough United fan, who suffers from bipolar affective disorder and borderline personality disorder, to signpost men to sources of support for their problems.

It hopes to raise awareness by enlisting footballers who have suffered with mental health issues to appear in videos where they will speak out about their problems.

At matches, the charity will hand out leaflets on mental health it has produced to make men aware of the support available to them.

Tim, 28, said: “Mind Kicks is a brand new and very exciting charity with one simple aim - use the power and passion of football to promote male mental health awareness.

“We are not going to be a support network as such, we are a charity that is looking to reduce the stigma behind mental health.

“All we want ultimately is for men to be more aware of mental health and what is going on upstairs - the typical football fan isn’t going to be the type of person who is switched on to their feelings and thoughts.

Tim, a former ambulance paramedic, hopes videos featuring the players will be posted on the Mind Kicks website next season.

He said: “Imagine being a fan of a professional club, their star-striker helps us produce a video on social media that talks about how he suffered with anxiety as a teenager. That will have a huge impact on making it okay to not be okay.

“If someone was having issues, with anxiety, they would see that video, relate to it, realise that somebody with a celebrity status was talking about it and may be more inclined to seek help.”

So far 20 professional football clubs have agreed to work with Mind Kicks including Sheffield Wednesday and Sunderland.

Tim was diagnosed with his conditions four years ago and after two suicide attempts in 2016 started to blog on Facebook about his experiences while in a psychiatric hospital.

For more visit mindkicks.co.uk