Ex-footballer and award-winning doctor help key workers and the public Be ‘Kind to their Mind’

The former Premier League footballer, Andy Cole and Sunday Times best-selling author and GP, Dr Rangan Chatterjee are supporting Mental Health Awareness Week and Kind to Your Mind, a campaign developed by the NHS and local councils in Cheshire and Merseyside.

The Kind to Your Mind campaign is supporting key workers, their families and the general public in Cheshire and Merseyside to manage and maintain their mental health and wellbeing during the Coronavirus pandemic. The campaign provides practical information and useful tools such as, ALMA, an online portal with mental and physical wellbeing resources and the Kind to Your Mind podcast series, featuring a range of useful conversations, with guest such as Andy Cole and Dr Chatterjee who provide tips and advice to help people through this difficult period.

For people who require urgent mental health support, the Kind to Your Mind website also contains a number of crisis helplines, which have been recently launched and offer 24/7 support for those living in Cheshire and Merseyside.

Andy Cole, former Premier League footballer, said:

“Like many people, I’ve struggled with my mental health and the current situation has not helped that. For some men, it might feel like the best thing to do is ignore how you’re feeling, so you don’t have to face up the reality of what you’re going through. Even as a player, when I wasn’t feeling well, I’d just get on with it. But that approach doesn’t work, and I ended up picking up more health concerns because of it.

“I now know that you have to talk about how you’re feeling. For many men this can be difficult, it’s seen as a sign of weakness, that they’re admitting to a vulnerability. But the more I’ve talked about my mental health, the more it has helped me and made me feel much better.

“What I’ve learned in football, especially when working with Sir Alex Ferguson, is that you never give up and you keep going until the referee blows his final whistle, and I think that can also be true for your mental health. The important thing is to keep going, even when it’s tough.”

Dr Rangan Chatterjee, GP and Author of Feel Better in 5, said:

“It’s fantastic to see a campaign like this supporting key workers, their families and the general public in Cheshire and Merseyside during this difficult time. Of course, stress affects different people in different ways, but we do know that there’s plenty of things we can do at home or on our own that will help with this.

“I’m also really aware that at the moment, human connection is a challenge for many people, especially those who live on their own and for younger men. That’s why, now more than ever, it’s important to reach out to others and talk about how you’re feeling. There’s also extra help and support for you if you need it, which you can find out more about by contacting your GP, NHS 111 or, if you’re living in Cheshire and Merseyside, taking a look at the Kind to Your Mind Website.”

The podcasts are available on Apple PodcastsSpotify and the Kind to Your Mind website and launches just as the campaign celebrates impressive early success, with thousands of local people accessing the Kind to Your Mind website, totalling over 15,000 pageviews in just a few weeks.

To learn more about Kind to Your Mind and to listen to the podcast, please visit www.kindtoyourmind.org.