Dons looking to score a winner with mental health breakfast

Wray Thomson, moderator and founder of Man Chat

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PITTODRIE Stadium is to host a ground-breaking business breakfast as part of Men’s Mental Health Month to make wellbeing a winner.

Aberdeen Football Club is teaming with Health & Wellbeing Partners Health Shield to tackle the sometimes-taboo subject head-on.

The line-up includes health care professionals and affected individuals who together will share ways to beat the “stresses” in the workplace and at home.

The Mental Health Breakfast, which is being held at Pittodrie, will look at the factors that give rise to problems, warning signs, and the role for employers can play in supporting staff.

Mental health can have a devastating impact on the people affected and their families but can also have a significant impact on work attendance and productivity.

Sarah McColl, Partnership Manager at Aberdeen Football Club, said: “The goals are to raise awareness of mental health in the workplace, especially mental health in men, the importance of talking and the need to end stigma around mental health.

“We want to educate and upskill the audience around signs someone may be struggling, ways to help and where to seek support.

“We also want encourage the audience to take away a small ‘action plan’ — something they can do back at the office that will make a positive difference.”

Sarah added: “The event will make clear that it’s okay not to be okay — to ask for help.

“Employers have a duty of care towards staff but while a cut can be plastered or a broken bone mended, what is going on inside our minds can be much more challenging to understand.”

Michelle Evans, guest speaker from the Professional Football Association Scotland

The panel comprises Carl Laidler, Director of Wellbeing at Health Shield and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine; Michelle Evans from the Professional Football Association Scotland, who played a pivotal role in setting up PFA Scotland’s Support service for players; Astrid Whyte of Mental health Aberdeen, who provides counselling services and training; and Steve Moy from Gary Walker Wealth Management/St James’ Place, who specialises in financial management.

The moderator will be Wray Thomson, founder of Man Chat, a mental health and suicide prevention group set up in Aberdeen.

Wray has pledged to ask “real” questions of the panel, making sure the audience leave educated.

He said: “I want people to walk away enabled and able to identify the seriousness of this subject.”

Michelle said: “In the same way we all have physical health, everyone has mental health – sometimes it is good, sometimes it is bad.

“It is about recognising that there is great strength in turning to others for help.”
One in four of us will experience mental health issues in any given year, rising to one in two adults who are in debt; financial stress is still a real contributor to mental health issues.

Steve explained: “Recent studies have highlighted that 40% of employees have experienced stress due to financial worries and in return one in four of them have confirmed that money worries have effected their ability to do the job.”

To book visit https://tickets.afc.co.uk/en-GB/categories/Events, and code CC10 provides a £10 saving at checkout. Limited spaces still available.

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