Coping Through Football shows London how it's done

Anonymous 09 July 2015

A report today by The Greater London Authority suggests mental ill health is a bigger issue in London than anywhere else in the country. This is something that we recognised nearly ten years ago when the concept for Coping Through Football was generated.

The London Assembly Health Committee report ‘Healthy minds, healthy Londoners’ says £26 billion is lost from London’s economy each year as a result of reduced productivity and calls for early intervention and prevention, particularly among young people and those from a Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) background.

Just as well we are ahead of the curve! Coping Through Football is already addressing these important issues. The project’s 2015 Annual Report highlights how an innovative football intervention, underpinned by robust clinical governance and processes, can assist in reducing the burden of mental health on the nation. The recent expansion of services for young people has seen a step change in the project, with the sessions playing more of a preventative role by:

  • supporting younger service users in receipt of early care provision
  • working alongside agencies to prevent more severe and long term mental ill health
  • promoting recovery and improving the chances for better long lasting health outcomes
The fact that 60% of service users are from a BME background demonstrates that the project has been successful in engaging with a group that is statistically more likely to be diagnosed with mental health problems and is also more likely to disengage from mainstream mental health service

This project is a wonderful example of why playing fields are more than just expanses of open space and are places where lives can be improved. If we want a healthy Capital we have to make sure Londoners have places to play sport forever.

Read the Coping Through Football Annual Report here