Hi there, my name is Richard Waite and I am the visionary behind Football in Mind. Football in Mind is an event of which I decided to create based on my own personal challenges with mental health and I really want to raise awareness for those who were in a similar situation to myself, whether they are struggling now or have previously struggled, that its perfectly ok to feel depressed and there really is help out there.
Please allow me to briefly explain the idea behind Football in Mind and why I feel it is the right time to act.
Those most closest to me will know that last year was a rather difficult year for me personally. After battling a long period of depression and severe anxiety, I felt trapped. I lost all love for things I found passionate, I began being distant with family, I found myself disconnected with social media and also my lack of interest lead to me losing my job. My GP (at the time and has since changed) was doing very little for me and seemed very uninterested in why I had such a low feeling of self-worth and self-esteem. His answer would always be, "have you considered medication?" and although medication works for some people, I didn't want to live a life dependant on a tablet. I soon realised that only myself can change my feelings.
At the beginning of this year, I set myself a challenge to change the concept around mental health and fight the stigma. In 2017, it was recorded that 5821 suicides had took place. Of these results, a staggering 75% were men, leaving 25% just women. Suicide is the most common cause of death for men aged 20-49 years in England and Wales.
That is why I come up with the idea of possibly setting up a charity football event in aid of young people who have been affected by mental health. After receiving a huge amount of support from family and friends, I knew I needed to make the event on a bigger scale. Two friends, Damien Perry and Damien Triplett have helped me really bring this event forward and help me achieve my dream. Their efforts have not only allowed me to make this event a reality, but also led me onto contacts of which a few weeks ago wouldn't have been possible.
In closing, on behalf of myself, Damien and Damien, I would like to encourage any donations to Football in Mind. All funds raised will be passed on to Birmingham Mind.