Why our mental health programme offers hope to sufferers this Christmas

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While we wish the entire Welsh Football Family a Very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, we understand that for some, it’s a low point of the year.

Those suffering with mental health issues are particularly vulnerable around the festive period, especially if they are spending much of the time alone.

We would encourage anybody feeling like this over Christmas to seek help and look at our We Wear the Same Shirt football sessions, which are expanding in 2019.

Time to Change Wales are our partners in the project and their programme manager Karen Roberts said: "The Christmas and New Year period can be an isolating time. We encourage anyone who is feeling low or has a mental health problem to reach out and ask for help by talking to someone trustworthy- whether that’s a friend a family member or GP. 

“The New Year and the traditional resolutions that come with it often motivate people to take up a new hobby and focus on something enjoyable  - such as joining a football team and signing up for sessions like this - which could not only have a positive impact on the physical wellbeing but also their mental health."

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Our We Wear the Same Shirt Ambassador, former Wales international David Cotterill, said: “The project offers a release to mental health sufferers in communities across Wales because it brings them out of the shells and stops them being isolated.

“They can be together and do something they enjoy, as well as having the opportunity to exercise the brain and the body. The most important thing for any mental health sufferer is to have the right support around you.”

In January, new sessions in Haverfordwest, Cambrian and Clydach and Cardiff Metropolitan University, will give new sufferers the opportunity to reach out to the programme.

Schemes at Newport County in the Community, Newtown AFC and Wrexham Inclusion FC have proved more popular than ever in 2018 and are hoping to grow again in 2019.

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