Luton’s Our Minds Matter break suicide stigma at football ‘Mental Health Community Cup’

Saleha Khanom, Catherine Aganoglu (vice chair) and Jolel visiting NHS paramedics
Saleha Khanom, Catherine Aganoglu (vice chair) and Jolel visiting NHS paramedics

A Luton mental health football tournament for men over 30 is aiming to kick away the stigma surrounding mental health and suicide.

On September 17, just a week after international suicide awareness day, Lutonian men are invited to gather at Denbigh High School and take part in the Mental Health Community Cup 2017.

Local charity, Our Minds Matter, of Park Street, have teamed up with voluntary organisation Community Needs, of Biscot Road, to promote an important message: that it’s OK to talk about suicide.

Jolel Miah, co-organiser and chair of Our Minds Matter, said: “Suicide affects most men over the age of 30 and one of the key aims for this tournament is to normalise mental health, so the wording around the tournament was important.

“We have called this Luton’s first ever ‘Mental Health Community Cup’; it is all part of breaking the stigma. Sporting activities are a great way of building confidence.”

Our Minds Matter work with Luton’s diverse communities to promote mental health, with a focus on Black Minority Ethnic Communities, and the team consists of individuals who have either professional or personal experience in the field of mental health.

Jolel added: “In addition to the football tournament there will be a community fun day which families and friends can attend.

“There will be bouncy castles, stalls, such as henna, and a barbecue.

“Mental health charities will also be there to answer any questions about mental health.”

The tournament is five-a-side and starts at 11am.

The maximum number of players is 7, and ID must be provided to prove you are over 30. Registering your team costs £35.

To register, contact Islam on 07449322190 or email Syed at syed.hayder@btinternet.com.

> ourmindsmatter.org.uk