Uniting Football Fans in support of men’s mental health issues
It’s Not Just Black & White campaign launched during the Newcastle United vs Fulham FC game Friday 5th August to unite all football fans in support of mental health awareness for men and alcohol and substance dependency issues that can arise from it. The campaign leverages a petition by Hugh Shriane, a mental health professional, who said ‘enough is enough’ when The Sun printed pictures of Paul Gascoigne struggling through his long-term battle with mental illness and alcohol addiction. This led to football fans, Tony Malcolm (FFC fan) and Rik Brown, (Newcastle United fan) to unite in support of mental illness following the death of Tony’s brother at an early age. Dez Malcolm’s journey through his battle with mental health issues led him to come into contact with Gazza at the Priory Clinic in Roehampton. Dez’s only ever contact with Gazza before then was watching from the stands, most notably at Wembley Stadium when Gazza scored the wonder goal in England’s Euro ’96 campaign.
Hugh Shriane’s ‘Enough is Enough’ campaign is now focussing on Paul Gascoigne’s nephew, Jay Kerrigan who died at the age of 22, having been misdiagnosed with mental health issues over a period of nine years. Anna Kerrigan, Gazza’s sister, wants to see wholesale changes in the treatment of people suffering from the many complex conditions thrown up by mental health concerns. Better diagnosis and more effective treatment can help ease the burden and trauma put upon families trying to cope and save people from the sort of bereavement she and her family and friends have had to endure.
‘Alcohol is 10% of the UK burden of disease and death, making alcohol one of the three biggest lifestyle risk factors for disease and death in the UK, after smoking and obesity’ Alcohol Concern
By football fans uniting together and raising awareness via #ItsNotJustBlackAndWhite we will gain enough signatures for this petition to the challenge the Department for Health to make changes to their legislation, helping families and individuals like Dez and Jay get the help they need, before it spirals out of control.
We need to show that there black and white views about mental health need to be addressed, opening up the whole spectrum of issues that affect sufferers and their friends and families and kick the stigma attached to the affliction clean out of the medical arena. Raise your voices, raise your concerns and rise up to support your fellow fans in their hours of greatest need. Let’s not just sit on the side-lines, but stand up and show your true colours with our multi coloured badge and a passionate supporter of our cause.