The fact it is Mental Health Awareness week has gone a little under the radar this year, with everything else going on. But that doesn’t make it any the less important.
There haven’t been many good things about coronavirus, but the way we have seen communities pull together and help the vulnerable must be right up there. Whether its Clapping for Carers, the untold selfless acts from people all over the country or the 500,000 that signed up overnight to join the NHS Volunteers, this period has brought out the best in people.
In these uncertain times, Mental Health has been in increasingly sharp focus, as we are all in lockdown and separated from our friends and family and some will have money and job worries.
This makes us all the more upset with the fact we can’t run a league, given the positive effects of sport. At Leisure Leagues we are proud that millions of people all around the world play in our leagues. People from all nationalities, backgrounds and beliefs all coming together to play one glorious sport.
The problems are ever starker with 6 a side football, which is the most inclusive sport in the world. The one sport where whatever your ability, everyone is welcome and everyone is equal and at Leisure Leagues, we are acutely aware of the tremendous power of sport to help people through their issues, but these issues are becoming ever more common. And the figures are incredible.
Mental health problems are one of the main causes of the overall disease burden worldwide.
Mental health and behavioural problems (e.g. depression, anxiety and drug use) are reported to be the primary drivers of disability worldwide, causing over 40 million years of disability in 20 to 29-year-olds, with more than 800,000 people die by suicide a year, making it the principal cause of death among people fifteen to twenty-nine years old.
Major depression is thought to be the second leading cause of disability worldwide and a major contributor to the burden of suicide and ischemic heart disease.
In the UK alone, in 2018, there were 6,507 deaths by suicide (a rate of 11.2 deaths per 100,000 people).
90% of our players are male, one figure in particular sticks out: Overall, men accounted for three-quarters of UK deaths by suicide in 2018.
In 2019, the fundamental Facts follows the recent publication of the 2014 Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey. This highlights that, every week, 1 in 6 adults experiences a common mental health problem, such as anxiety or depression and 1 in 5 adults has considered taking their own life at some point.
But please, if you are struggling, seek help. Whatever goal you have and however much playing in one of our leagues means to you, your health is worth more and the battle to prevent suicide is truly worth winning.
We will speaking to one of our partners, Lucy Briggs this week, to get her unique perspective, so look out for that on Friday.
https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/ for more infoBack to Blog