Football and mental health CIC ‘Head In The Game’ (HITG) are set to partner up with Maidstone-based charity ‘Mid Kent Mind’ (MTK) as both organisations look to raise awareness and champion better mental health in Swale through working in partnership.
As an organisation, HITG run mental-wellbeing football sessions to reduce and prevent male suicide. The organisation aims to champion open conversations around mental health by tackling the stigma wrongly associated with it, and by promoting positive physical and mental wellbeing.
When asked about the decision to partner with MKM, the CIC’s founder, Mark Pinkney, said:
“Partnership work is absolutely vital to raising awareness and getting the positive messaging about talking about our mental health and wellbeing out to as many people as possible in local communities. This partnership with Mid Kent Mind will allow us to reach more people in Swale who may need a safe, secure and trusted environment to talk and receive some help and support.
On meeting the team at Mid Kent Mind we were truly blown away by their passion and commitment to make long term changes to way that mental health support is delivered and look forward to working with them on future projects across the region.”
HITG provide both six and twelve-week programmes for men – providing them with safe spaces where they can take part in physical activities, and also network with other men who may be experiencing similar situations. The idea is to encourage peer-to-peer support and to enhance understanding of the connections between physical and mental health.
The partnership will also present an opportunity for MKM to better connect with communities in Swale. The organisation already offer some virtual services to residents in the borough and are keen to expand the support which is available to people in the future.
Henu Cummins, MKM Chief Executive Officer, said:
“We are incredibly excited about our partnership with Mark and his team. They are an exceptional organisation who champion men’s mental health – something which is incredibly important given the rise in suicide among men. In 2020, the suicide rate for men was four times higher than for women – so this underpins the importance of these conversations.
We hope that by working with Mark, we will be able to show communities across the Swale borough that they are not alone. Mid Kent Mind are here to help – and by working with partners like Head In The Game, we hope to be able to provide sustainable support for these communities which tackle the many challenges facing them in the modern climate.”
The charity looks forward to exploring further partnership working with Head In The Game in the future – looking at how working together can complement MKM’s Suicide Prevention & Awareness training, which is delivered across Kent and Medway and funded thanks to Kent County Council, Medway Council, and Transforming Health and Social Care in Kent and Medway.
Both organisation hope that this partnership will encourage open conversations in their communities and will lead to even more opportunities for collaboration to develop diverse and need-driven mental health services for the communities who need them most.
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