Mansfield Town match to shine a light on mental health
Mental health will at the forefront of supporters’ minds when Mansfield Town take on Oldham Athletic in their penultimate match of the season.
For the League Two fixture on Saturday, May 1 has been designated a virtual charity match day to raise awareness of and funds for the services of the Nottinghamshire Mind organisation.
Normally, Mind volunteers would be at the One Call Stadium, mingling with fans, rattling their collection buckets and handing out leaflets.
But because no crowds are allowed, the charity is to stage a ‘virtual takeover’ that it hopes will open up the conversation among football supporters about mental health.
In the build-up to the match, Stags players are to record statements, have their photos taken wearing Mind t-shirts and share information about the charity on the club’s website and through social media.
And on the day itself, a billboard will make Mind’s presence clear to all fans watching the game online via the iFollow live streaming service.
Mind’s research shows that 56 per cent of fans feel it is easier to show their emotions at a football match than at any other time.
But many with mental-health issues, particularly men, struggle in silence, and this has been made worse during the Covid pandemic.
Nic Roberts, boss of Nottinghamshire Mind, said: “Many fans have been affected by the pandemic through missing out on the camaraderie felt by being together on match days.
"This virtual event will let them know that although they can’t be together, we are still here for them if they need support.
"We are proud to be working with Mansfield Town in this partnership.”