Football therapy group tackling mental health

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Liverpool Football Therapy is tackling mental health

A football coaching group set up to tackle mental health is planning to expand out of lockdown.

Liverpool Football Therapy CIC was set up specifically for anyone who is experiencing any form of mental health difficulties.

Prior to lockdown they were running sessions in Aintree and Huyton and are now planning a new session in Speke as well as a youth programme.

Liverpool Football Therapy allows participants to form friendships and support with others who also suffer from mental health issues.

Founder Colin Dolan said: “The aim of the organisation is to work on the psychical, mental and social wellbeing of participants regardless of age, regardless of gender and regardless of ability, everyone is welcome.”

Anyone who suffers with mental health issues are welcome to join the team which operates on a non-referral basis.

Mr Dolan said: “We go for people who are undiagnosed, it is very much early intervention. The sooner you start reacting to the mental health difficulties you do have, the sooner you can take some positive action, the less chance there is of it escalating.”

With current lockdown restrictions in place since early January the sessions are unable to go ahead. Mr Dolan has been using the time to plan how to expand the initiative with the extra location now in the pipeline.

A youth project has also been launched which aims to encourage children in Year 7 to Year 11 to speak about their mental health after receiving coaching from Mr Dolan and other team members who will talk about their own personal experiences.

He said: “The idea is to hopefully build up some kind of mental resilience through sharing experiences. Through that we will hopefully encourage them to be more open.

“The most important thing for me when we do get back is just being around everyone and seeing the smiles on everyone’s faces.”

Throughout lockdown the 70 participants of Liverpool Football Therapy have been keeping in touch via Whatsapp and Zoom. From March 29 outside sport can resume and the team are looking forward to getting back onto the pitch.

David McCormack who attends the sessions said: “To be able to get back in amongst it and kick a ball with my fellow mental health warriors is like scoring the winner for Scotland against England.”

Colin Dolan talks about Liverpool Football Therapy’s plans>>>









About Steph Colderick, JMU Journalism