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Tackling men’s mental health with Newcastle United Foundation

Date published: 9 May 2022

Read time: 3 minutes

Three people at NUF

Download our press release here.

This Mental Health Awareness Week (9 - 15 May 2022), we have signed up to become a business champion of Newcastle United Foundation’s Be A Game Changer initiative to encourage open conversations about men’s mental health among colleagues.

Be A Game Changer is Newcastle United Foundation’s mental health awareness campaign that uses the topic of football to encourage everyone to talk openly about mental health. The initiative provides a range of free programmes and activities to help people in the region with their mental health, by helping them to talk to others about their experiences.

By becoming a champion of the scheme, all of our 1,300 colleagues across the North East, Cumbria and North Yorkshire will have access to the campaign’s mental health support and resources. Colleagues will also benefit from a bespoke package of support including wellbeing workshops, as well as some exclusive opportunities to get active and start talking more openly about their mental health. This strengthens the existing support provided to colleagues through regular initiatives and an active network of mental health champions.

Stuart Miller, Chief Customer Officer, joined our team of mental health champions at St James’ Park to help launch the partnership. 

He said: “The topic of mental health isn’t always easy to approach – especially for men. And whilst few of us are experts, we all have a role to play by looking out for each other and being part of a workplace culture that encourages colleagues to talk openly about their mental health.

“Our partnership with Newcastle United Foundation, including support for their amazing new home, NUCASTLE powered by Newcastle Building Society, gives us the opportunity to positively influence the lives of people right across our region. But the health and wellbeing of our own colleagues is absolutely vital too, so it’s great to become a champion of the Foundation’s leading Be A Game Changer initiative and give colleagues access to a unique set of resources and support that shows our absolute commitment to create an environment where it’s ok to not be ok.”

Thomas Graham, Health and Wellbeing Project Coordinator at Newcastle United Foundation, said: “We know that poor mental wellbeing is common and one in four of us will experience a mental health problem every year. To put that into perspective, that’s an average of 12,989 supporters at any given Newcastle United home game who may be struggling.

“Be A Game Changer encourages everyone in the North East – and particularly men – to start talking about mental health and reduces the stigma around asking for support, whether that’s from a friend, a GP, or colleague at work. It’s crucial that we all treat our mental health just like we would our physical health.

“We are incredibly proud to welcome Newcastle Building Society as Be A Game Changer champions and to bolster their commitment to better mental health for all. We expect many staff members will benefit from peer support, mental wellbeing tips and guidance tailored to their needs as part of our campaign that focuses on our shared identity as football supporters in the North East.”

Our partnership with Newcastle United Foundation launched in June 2020 and in March 2022, Newcastle United Foundation celebrated the opening of its new £8million community hub, NUCASTLE powered by Newcastle Building Society, which will provide young people access to sport, health and employment programmes.

Find out more about the Be A Game Changer initiative here.