A highlight of last year’s Network for Psychiatric Nursing Research conference in Oxford was Alan Pringle‘s talk on football and mental health. Alan works at Nottingham University, and here’s what his web page has to say:
Alan has worked in the area of using football as a vehicle for mental health promotion and interventions in a number of ways in recent years.
His PhD looked at the impact that actively supporting a club (in this case Mansfield Town FC) could have on the mental health of supporters. He was involved in the development of the “It’s a Goal!” programme. This programme places staff in football stadiums to work primarily with young men in mental health promotion and mental health intervention work. “It’s a Goal!” has run in 16 different professional clubs from large premiership clubs like Manchester United and Stoke City to lower division clubs like Macclesfield Town and Plymouth Argyle.
Alan was involved in developing the Positive Goals football league with Nottinghamshire Healthcare Trust. This league for service users involves teams from all over the county coming together to play matches on a monthly basis and each year comprises of between 10 and 12 teams.
Alan is a member of the Football and Mental Health Group for Time-to-Change the national anti-stigma organisation.
Alan’s NPNR talk was excellent, and his research and wider work has clearly made a real difference. If you navigate to his webpage you’ll find references to publications he’s written, too. There’s also the It’s a Goal website, which is full of information.
This leads me nicely to last Tuesday at the Cardiff City Stadium, where along with thousands of others I witnessed the moment of Cardiff City‘s promotion to the top flight of football, securing a place in the Premier League for the coming season. A big deal all round. Here’s a photo, taken just after the game’s end.