A POSTER promoting mental health awareness is being displayed at football clubs across Essex.

It has been designed by the Essex Football Association and can be downloaded for clubs to use at their grounds, as well as on their Twitter and Facebook accounts.

The Mental Health Awareness in Football poster aims to support grassroots clubs in raising awareness of, and breaking the stigma around, mental health.

The PDF file allows clubs to add their name and help spread the word in highlighting that sport can play a huge role in breaking down boundaries. It also features contact details for many supportive organisations, including the Samaritans and Mind.

Monday’s Gazette featured an honest and moving account by talented footballer Bradley James, who spoke out about his battle with depression - and urged others to reach out for help and support.

The 24-year-old, who lives in Tiptree and is a well-regarded midfielder at Little Oakley Football Club, planned to take his own life before being stopped in the nick of time.

Cindi Chatha, Essex County FA development officer, said: “We’ve noticed a number of clubs displaying the poster in their clubhouses and on social media, which is really encouraging to see.

“It’s great to witness grassroots football coming together.

“Now we’d like many more to help raise awareness of the support available to anyone who might need it.

“Football has some strong communities who can break a taboo and make it easier to talk to friends and team-mates about mental wellbeing.”

The poster further builds on recent FA guidance to coaches and managers working across the adult football pyramid, advising them on how to support the mental wellbeing of their players.

A new guide has been produced in partnership with Mind and a mental health advisory group.

The 36-page publication forms an important part of the FA and Heads Together’s Heads Up campaign, which seeks to harness the influence and popularity of football to drive the biggest ever conversation on mental health.

To download the Mental Health Awareness in Football Poster, visit www.essexfa.com/news/2019/nov/29/mental-health-awareness-in-football.