It’s a condition that will affect one in four of us at some stage in our lives. It can strike you when you least expect it to and has no respect for gender, sex, class, religion, race or age.
For some, it can be a response to a stressful life event whether it is bereavement or divorce but for others, it may have much deeper roots in upbringing and traumas experienced in formative years or have a background in genetics or the environment.
For some people the mere effort of getting out of bed in the morning and facing the day ahead can be as daunting as the thought of climbing Everest would be for most of us.
This is not just feeling fed up or upset, this is Churchill’s famous “Black Dog”, this is a sky full of dark clouds with no sunshine appearing day after day, week after week and month after month. This is the feeling that your life has no value and is worthless. This is life without happiness, pleasure or meaning.
The pervasive and intrusive thoughts that the world would be a better place without you being a part of it and your family and friends equally so, cause nearly six thousand people to take their own lives every year in the UK with many more times that number who attempt unsuccessfully to end their lives and an even greater number tormented by the thoughts of doing so.
For others the terrifying thoughts that other people want to do us harm, sometimes the people we love, care for and trust the most or the experience of hearing voices and sounds that other people don’t or the visual and tactile sensory disturbances that can make us feel vulnerable, exposed and alone.
There’s no single cause for mental ill-health and no single cure. Many people will experience one episode of ill-health but for others, it can be a lifelong condition that will require a combination of talking therapies and prescribed medication.
For the past four years, Dunstable Town FC have championed the work that Mind BLMK do in our local community. We’ve put their logo on the front of our playing kits, raised awareness by placing advertising boards around the ground, raised funds and offered free training sessions. We now have the Mind BLMK logo on the back of our shirts along with the tagline “We’ve got your backs”.
This season we’ve joined the CALM Collective (Campaign Against Living Miserably) and work in support of the Charity and on the local front, we support Minds2gether which is a mental health peer support group.
Every Monday we now have our own support group with United Minds thanks to the very generous support of The Glider and Asda Dunstable.
We have a Mental Health Advocate helping support the Club in this field.
We may only be a small club but we have big ambitions to raise awareness of mental health problems, remove the stigma associated with becoming unwell, and continue our work as part of our Community Benefit Society status to make mental health awareness part and parcel of the Club’s DNA.