The Mindsmatter team, previously known as Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT), set up the Goal Difference programme to help men of all ages who may be experiencing mental health problems. The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) states that every year around 800,000 people die from suicide. In the UK 3 out of 4 suicides are by men, so it is important individuals are aware of help available to them so they can seek support.
The programme uses football terminology to lead the ‘players’ (service users) through 11 ‘matches’ (sessions), one each week over the course of the 11 weeks, looking at different techniques that can be used to help improve their overall health and wellbeing. The programme is held at venues across Lancashire and teaches various Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) techniques to help the ‘players’ understand their thoughts and help them work towards improving their mental health.
Emma Nazurally, Mindsmatter Service Manager at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust said:
"Traditionally, men are a difficult audience to reach when it comes to discussing mental health due to obstacles such as stigma around the topic which can get in the way or stop men seeking advice and talking about their problems.
“Goal Difference provides a great way to specifically target men and encourage them to seek help in a safe environment which many will be able to relate to. It is important that men are aware of the services available to them to help deal with mental health issues so they don’t suffer in silence.”
Goal Difference currently runs at the following locations in Lancashire:
- Chorley and South Ribble – Chorley Football Club
- West Lancashire – JMO Sports Park, Skelmersdale
- East Lancashire – Burnley Football Club
- Preston – UCLan Sports Arena