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Everton on World Mental Health Day 2018

The People’s Club continuing to earn the moniker

Everton FC v Fulham FC - Premier League Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

One of the key points that has come out of Everton’s decision to eventually move from Goodison Park to the Bramley-Moore Docks is that the organization will leave the area a better place. Of the numerous community outreach activities that Everton in the Community have planned, one of the most important will be ‘The People’s Place’.

Through a long-term fundraising drive - due to start early in the new 2018/19 season - Everton in the Community aims to develop, build and maintain a new purpose-built facility that will become a delivery site for programmes and enable signposting to other services. The new mental health facility, subject to planning permission, will be positioned within the Goodison campus adjacent to the £1.2m People’s Hub on Spellow Lane — just 500 metres from Goodison Park.

Everton in the Community has been delivering award winning, life-changing and life-saving mental health provision across Merseyside for more than 10 years, supporting more than 5,000 individuals with bespoke programmes for those in need.

The campaign will see Everton working alongside national mental health charity Chasing the Stigma at a time when the number of people seeking support for mental health related issues is at an all-time high. The charities will work together to promote positive mental health and ending the stigma and discrimination surrounding it.

‘The People’s Place’ will provide an overarching service to anyone, regardless of age, gender, or location, to promote positive mental health and support relating to suicide awareness and prevention. The range of the mental health services available will offer clear pathways into Everton in the Community’s programmes and external support all tailored to the individual.

As part of the activities to commemorate World Mental Health Day today, the Club’s senior officials along with manager Marco Silva and Phil Jagielka undertook a mental health awareness training session yesterday as part of the Club’s ongoing work to promote positive mental health.

The Club has an ongoing commitment to tackling the stigma around mental health and is rolling out an accredited training programme to equip all staff with an understanding of mental health. The ‘Ambassadors of Hope’ training was delivered by the Merseyside-based national mental health charity, and its founder, Evertonian Jake Mills.

Everton CEO, Professor Denise Barrett-Baxendale, speaking about the Club’s initiatives through EitC said -

“Everton in the Community’s award-winning mental health provision is regularly recognised on an international and national stage, yet we recognise the major need in our community – and beyond - to further develop, enhance and evolve our current provision.

“Mental illnesses, unlike physical injuries, are invisible to everyone but to those experiencing them. Their reality is no different and no less painful. Many people suffer in silence, unaware that helpful and supportive treatments are available. Our new facility will work to encourage people to talk more freely and will operate an open-door policy to anyone needing to talk.

“There is a real demand for this in our city and our community. Since we opened the People’s Hub we have had people walk through our door seeking mental health support and I’m proud to say we have supported those individuals. Residents in Liverpool, members of the L4 community and our fans see us a beacon of hope and support.

“Working alongside colleagues at the Club, Everton in the Community, external partners, patrons, our supporters and residents we plan on using our skills, expertise and profile to fulfil our aim of building a facility that will help save the lives of people suffering with mental health issues.”

Silva has been a part of the activities from the beginning, and he added:

“Since the first day I arrived at the Club, everyone talked to me about the Everton Family. We are more than just a club, we are a family. We want to keep creating this fantastic connection between us and our fans and all of the community. We want to support them, and we want to give them something back.

“This People’s Place project is important to us as a Club. Me and my staff are here to support and do everything we can.”

Kudos to everyone in the Everton organization for their continued support for the community, just one of the many reasons why we are all so proud to be Blues.