Brentford FC Community Sports Trust to receive bespoke mental health training from West London Mental Health NHS Trust @WLMHT

West London Mental Health NHS Trust will provide staff and volunteers at Brentford FC Community Sports Trust (FC CST) with bespoke mental health training in preparation for their delivery of a health and wellbeing programme for the Trust’s service users. The Trust is to give staff and volunteers at Brentford FC CST an introduction to mental health and guidance on how to work with people experiencing a mental illness, including information on medication and interventions.

Over the last year, Brentford FC CST has supported Hounslow Hawks Football Club, managed by the Occupational Therapy Service at West London Mental Health NHS Trust and partly-funded by the Trust’s charity. Hounslow Hawks provides football as therapy for patients and service users of the Trust who are living with a mental illness, and contributes to their well-being.

As well as providing coaching to Hounslow Hawks, Brentford FC CST are running social football sessions in conjunction with Middlesex Football Association and London charity Hestia. This has seen Hounslow Hawks further its reach and welcome anyone in the community to its grounds for 12-18 weeks, offering a mix of football and socialising at Osterley Goals Centre.

In turn, 25 service users from the Trust will benefit from health and wellbeing sessions delivered by Brentford FC CST in partnership with the public health initiative One You Hounslow, which will include health assessments, Fitbits™ to encourage physical activity, information on maintaining a healthy lifestyle and a taster of exercises, such as yoga and netball.

Michelle Nielsen, Occupational Therapy Technician at West London Mental Health NHS Trust, has managed Hounslow Hawks for 10 years. She said: “We hope that through delivering mental health training, Brentford FC CST will better their understanding of what a mental illness feels like and so transform how their staff view and engage with mental wellbeing, both on and off the pitch.

“It is more apparent than ever that the conversation around mental health – especially within football – is changing. The Trust is very grateful to have the support of Brentford FC CST, which is helping our service users get active and work towards their mental health recovery.”

Peter Shears, Senior Project Manager from Brentford FC CST, said: “We really value our partnership with Hounslow Hawks and the West London Mental Health NHS Trust. I’m convinced that this training for our staff, will not only be of value to our coaches who deliver the football sessions, but also assist our coaches to support participants in the wider community who may be experiencing some issues with their mental health too.”

West London Mental Health NHS Trust’s bespoke mental health training for Brentford FC CST will take place on Friday 28 July 2017 at Hounslow Recovery Team West, The Cardinal Centre, Feltham, TW13 5AL.