MHA Week: BLC and Mind supporting fans

The Sunderland AFC Branch Liaison Council and Washington Mind are continuing to support the local community despite the lockdown.

Throughout Mental Health Awareness Week, the BLC and Mind have been offering telephone support to those in need via a fan-led initiative that commenced following the outbreak of coronavirus in the UK.

The SAFC supporter helpline was put in place due to the absence of the ground-breaking Matchday Mental Health Hub, which first launched in November 2019 and saw branch members and trained counsellors housed at the Beacon of Light on home matchdays.

Players and staff have visited the hub on numerous occasions to lend their support, while director David Jones has backed the telephone service by personally calling fans during lockdown.  

Speaking to, Washington Mind’s Christopher Scratcher-Oates explained why it is now more important than ever to support those in need.

“Washington Mind is working hard to ensure that people are getting the help they need during this difficult time and we are proud to be working with the BLC to provide support for Sunderland supporters.

"Despite the lockdown, the counselling team are continuing to provide support to fans who are feeling isolated and anxious.”

He added: “Our trained counsellors can provide a listening ear, practical advice, and signpost people to organisations in their area that can help.”

If you need to talk, contact the Washington Mind supporter helpline in confidence by calling 0191 4178043 to arrange a fans’ support appointment with a trained councillor.   

Lines are open from Monday to Friday between 10am and 2pm.

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