Tony Malcolm and Rik Brown, both creatives in the advertising world and football fanatics, came together to build #ItsNotJustBlack&White campaign to show their support for Dr Hugh Shriane’s ‘Enough is Enough’ petition to see the mental health act changed to help those in need. Hugh is dedicating the campaign to Jay Kerrigan who died at 22 years of age having been misdiagnosed with mental health issues, which plunged him into the desperate measures of substance dependency. His loving mum, Anna Kerrigan, has joined the campaign to bring more awareness to the cause and ask for change in the current medical practices. Anna saw Jay go through years of turmoil as he battled various mental health conditions with woefully inadequate help from the medical profession. Jay begged to be sectioned with no action being taken and was turned away from A&E on a number of occasions. This story resonated with Tony Malcolm who saw his brother go through a similar tragic tale that eventually led to his untimely death at 43 years of age. The trauma this brought to both of their families and the thousands of others in similar circumstances made the Enough is Enough and INJB&W galvanise around a shared mission.
Tony Malcolm, a Fulham fan, united with Rik Brown, a Newcastle United fan ahead of the first game of the 2016-17 football season that kicked off with their two teams, renowned for their home colours of black and white, playing at Craven Cottage. Their aim was to drive awareness of Mental Health and alcohol and substance dependency issues that affect many fans and their families up and down the country. Through a social media fans in the UK and around the world, can show their true colours by adopting the INJB&W scarf that incorporates all colours of the spectrum of teams throughout many leagues. People’s opinions of mental health issues are very polarised and we want to bring attention to the many varied and complex situations that surround the condition. Alcohol and substance dependency are largely due to self medication, but it isn’t just that simple. Saying, well people have an option to not indulge or just stop doesn’t overcome the situation. Alcohol has become an intrinsic part of People with depression can’t just ‘snap out of it’. Depression and the resultant symptoms are way beyond just feeling ‘low’ or ‘down’. Alcoholism, for instance, still isn’t recognised as a medical condition like Anorexia Nervosa is. More help, research and treatment is desperately required to bring the growing concern under control. Men are far less likely to talk about this than women and at the moment, 1 in 3 women seek attention for mental health conditions. Sufferers need more help and less castigation and only if we confront the entrenched views in society and medical circles can we begin to overcome the stigma attached to talking about and dealing with mental health.
We urge all fans to share the below tweet in support:
Our football fan power will help us combat mental health #ItsNotJustBlack&White sign the petition http://bit.ly/2aq76uj
On behalf of the founders and the below supporters, we thank you for your help.