Kicking out the January blues

Three members of the Jackson-Stops Dorking team brushed up on their tackling skills this week in order to raise awareness of the benefits of exercise for promoting mental health. Although the event took place on ‘Blue Monday’, its key message was that it’s good to talk about mental health every day of the year.

According to Mind, approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year and in England, 1 in 6 people report experiencing a common mental health problem (such as anxiety and depression) in any given week.

The session is part of a series of planned events organised by Surrey FA in an effort to bring together the community and offer a safe space to exercise and talk – if you want to. 

Chris Fairclough, David Baillie and Darrell Hughes joined other Dorking businesses on Monday 20 January at Meadowbank Football Ground, including Dorking Butchery, Vodafone, Specsavers and Run Print Run. With shin pads at the ready, the Dorking team put in a valiant effort!

Before the match, participants listened to a talk from local mental health charity, Mary Frances Trust, where they learned about how to identify mental health issues and conditions, organisations that are able to offer support and the importance of talking about mental health issues.

Darrell Hughes, Associate Partner at Jackson-Stops Dorking, commented: “The weather was kind to us and there was a good turnout from local businesses, so a good day all round. It was a positive way to ease into the subject of mental health and just getting out at lunchtime and playing sport was an antidote to the dullness of January.”

Tamsyn Woodman, Surrey FA Football Development Officer (Disability) commented: “The benefits of regular exercise to both mental and physical health are huge. We hope that our Blue Monday football session will help in not only getting our local community active but will also better inform them of the support that's available.”

John O’Malley, Mary Frances Trust’s Mole Valley Area Coordinator, added: “Physical health and mental health are very closely linked, with statistics proving that if you are experiencing poor mental health there is a higher chance you also have poor physical health, and vice versa. Football, and sport in general, has undeniable benefits to someone’s mental health: it lowers stress and anxiety levels; improves confidence; and increases social interaction which in turn lowers the risk of depression.”

Find out more and sign up for future sessions

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