LFC Foundation, the Reds' official charity, has joined forces with supporters union Spirit of Shankly to launch The Big Red Talk - a live virtual event in support of fans' mental health.
The live virtual event – which will take place on Friday December 11 – will involve various workshops to help educate fans on the importance of mental health, speaking your mind and caring for personal wellbeing.
Sessions throughout the evening will provide participants with various coping strategies and advice on how to handle difficult conversations when discussing mental health.
Former Reds goalkeeper Chris Kirkland will also be interviewed by The Anfield Wrap, sharing his experiences of overcoming mental health issues, and to offer fans advice on how to cope, speak up and seek professional help when struggling with mental illness.
The event will also involve an interactive virtual quiz - hosted by ‘The Voice of Anfield’ George Sephton - to give fans the opportunity to win exclusive LFC prizes and club merchandise.
And Jamie Webster is set to perform in collaboration with the event’s partner, BOSS Night.
Through this initiative, LFC Foundation is looking to abolish the taboo surrounding mental health and encourage men and women to speak out and seek support when struggling.
This event is part of LFC Foundation’s collaboration with Spirit of Shankly to deliver a new, season-wide mental health project for supporters.
The project, which was announced on World Suicide Prevention Day, is funded by LFC Lotto as part of LFC Foundation’s adult health programmes and Spirit of Shankly.
Matt Parish, director of LFC Foundation, said: “It’s important to be able to offer our support – albeit virtually – to fans who may be struggling with poor mental health as it’s something that we are really passionate about at the LFC Foundation.
“The promotion of positive mental health runs throughout all of our programmes and as we find ourselves currently in the midst of a global pandemic, personal wellbeing must take priority and by launching this season-wide project we hope to bring fans together to talk and help to remove the stigma associated with mental health.”
Chair of Spirit of Shankly, Joe Blott, said: “At our AGM in 2019, a motion was passed that we would increase our involvement with mental health initiatives. We agreed to work with local organisations and other supporters’ trusts to promote mental health awareness; to demonstrate that it’s OK to not be OK; and to support people to open up about their thoughts, feelings and emotions.
“Football has the power to connect with so many people on and off the pitch, it has the power to change and save the lives of people who live with mental health issues. We are delighted to partner this event, which is arranged to encourage SOS members and the wider supporter base to seek help from friends, family and services if they are suffering in any way.”
Fans can book a place on this free event at www.bigredtalk.eventbrite.co.uk. This is an 18+ event.
If you or someone you know needs specialist support, please contact:
- Samaritans – 116 123
- Papyrus – teenage suicide/mental health – 0800 068 4141
- NSPCC – Childline – 0800 111
Liverpool FC also has a dedicated team of safeguarding specialists who can offer help and support. For more information, please visit www.liverpoolfc.com/fans/safeguarding.
LFC Lotto is operated by BD Sport Ltd. and is regulated by the Gambling Commission. License numbers 000-050123-R-327621-002 and 000-050123-N-327622-002. www.begambleaware.org. Players must be aged 16+. UK only.