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Published October 10, 2022

Chaplin visits Foundation session to celebrate World Mental Health Day

Ipswich Town forward and Foundation Trustee Conor Chaplin attended the first of our Mental Wellbeing & Physical Activity sessions to celebrate World Mental Health Day.

The programme runs in partnership with NSFT (Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust) offering an eight-week support programme for children in school years 8 and 9 who are experiencing a decline in their mental wellbeing. The sessions will offer a blended approach, with classroom based support alongside the opportunity to try out different sports as part of the physical activity aspect.

Conor began his visit by chatting to the group about the importance of speaking about your mental health and the impact of it within football before heading out onto the practice pitch at Portman Road and taking part in the physical activity.

“We spoke about the importance of physical activity inside and it was very enjoyable to have a kickabout with the boys and girls,” said Conor.

“The children really understood how physical activity and talking about your mental health can help when we spoke about it inside.

“It is crucially important for the Foundation to encourage people to chat about their mental health and make it normal for people to seek help.

“The more people talk about their mental health, the more it normalises it and allows people to become more comfortable to talk to their friends, family and strangers.”

Leanne Smith, Community Engagement Officer at the Foundation, added: “The children are in years 8 or 9 and the aim is to help them before their mental health worsens.

“The aim is to show that Portman Road is a safe place and that it is ok to experience anxiety and struggle with your mental health.

“It is really important for players to come and show the children that everybody struggles with their mental health and that they’re not alone.

“For him to come and be so open and honest was great for the young children that were here with us today.”