LFC Foundation is launching new mental health projects that will help children, young people and adults across its programmes.
The Reds’ official charity is investing in a universal mental health programme in partnership with Action for Children, which will be delivered in schools across Merseyside.
The new 12-week programme is designed to help children recognise the signs of mental health issues, look at techniques and strategies to improve their mental health, and where to go if they have concerns.
The new funding will also support a dedicated professional counsellor for LFC Foundation, who will be available to provide crisis intervention to any participants referred by Foundation coaches and staff working in the local community. In addition, there will be drop-in community-based provision also led by specialists to provide advice and guidance, where needed.
It is planned that an adult male suicide prevention programme delivered with partners and specialist service providers will also be funded in the coming months. The targeted programme will encourage men to talk if they have problems and how to look out for their friends’ mental wellbeing too.
Matt Parish, LFC Foundation director, said: “This new investment will allow us to expand our current mental health strategy and increase resource and provision across our programmes.
“Although the promotion of positive mental health and wellbeing has always been a priority for the Foundation, this new funding demonstrates our ongoing commitment and will enable us to make a real difference. We are confident that the level of investment will increase over the next 12 months so that the level of support offered can grow.
“Research indicates that early intervention in children’s mental health is really important so we know our new schools programme with Action for Children will provide essential knowledge and understanding of mental health, give children the confidence to talk about their feelings and equip them with coping strategies to support them.
“Suicide remains the most common cause of death for men aged 20-49 in the UK, which is just appalling. Through our new male suicide prevention programme, we plan to deliver accessible, free, targeted support and crisis intervention to provide much-needed guidance and assistance.”
Former Reds player and mental health advocate Jason McAteer added: “It’s great to see the Foundation investing more money and resource into mental health programmes and continuing its commitment to positively promoting mental wellbeing.
“I’ve had the opportunity to see some of their fantastic work in action and see the difference it makes.
“I have been very open about my personal struggles with mental health and I think it’s so important to continue an honest conversation about mental health to break down the stigma that is often attached to it.
“I think it’s important as a club and Foundation to show people that you care and that you’re there for them.”
Carol Iddon, Action for Children’s deputy chief executive, said: “We’re delighted to be partnering with the LFC Foundation to support young people struggling with their mental health. Sadly, many children are dealing with issues like depression and anxiety, and all too often alone.
“But it doesn’t have to be this way – getting advice and help early can stop mental health problems in their tracks. It’s great to see the LFC Foundation’s commitment to supporting young people with their mental health and we’re looking forward to working with them to help children in the community to have a safe and happy childhood.”