Mental health service users to take on NHS staff in exhibition football match


To raise awareness of mental wellbeing and build on staff-service user relationships staff from the South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust are taking to the pitch in a special football game.

Staff who work for the Trust, which provides mental health and learning disability services in Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield, will take on a team of people who use services in Calderdale to highlight the importance of exercise for improving mental and physical wellbeing.

The match dubbed David v Goliath will take place at 7pm on Thursday 30th September at North Bridge Leisure Centre, Halifax, HX3 6TE and all spectators are welcome.

The service user team, Calderdale FC, are part of the Trust’s Good Mood Football league, which is made up of players who have all used mental health services. The league enables those with an interest in football of varying levels of ability and at different stages of the rehabilitation process to access the sport.

Julian Moses, who works for Calderdale Council and has helped organise the match, said, "Exercising, the opportunity to meet new people and confidence building are just a few of the many benefits that can be had by taking part in a sport such as football and help support a person’s rehabilitation process."

The Trust’s chief executive Steven Michael, who will be captaining the staff team, said, "We hope sporting events like this will help emphasise how beneficial sport is to mental health and wellbeing and how good it is for self esteem and social inclusion. This latest match between the two teams will send out a positive message combating the negative stigma of mental illness at the same time as bridging the gap between staff and service users."

“We hope it raises awareness of mental health issues, reduces stigma and promotes wellbeing. We know that physical activity and social inclusion all make a big difference to wellbeing so many activities across the Trust concentrate on these areas.”

Earlier this year, the Trust launched its own ‘Help us stop stigma in 2010’ poster campaign. A series of nine posters have been distributed across the area and local communities are encouraged to display posters in shops, places of worship, community settings or anywhere else they feel is appropriate in a bid to tackle the stigma that is associated with mental health problems. Posters can be obtained, free of charge, by calling 01924 327567 or emailing

Mental health service users to take on NHS staff in exhibition football match

time to read: 2 min