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‘It’s Tricky to Talk’ Campaign

Nottingham Forest launched a campaign encouraging fans to speak out about mental health problems and seek help.

A new campaign with Nottingham Forest Football Club and Community Trust and The Institute of Mental Health is encouraging fans to speak about mental health problems in a bid to help reduce the risk of suicide.

One in four adults experience mental health issues each year, and suicide is now the most common cause of death for men aged 20-49 in the UK – in part due to the stigma associated with talking about mental health or asking for help.

When two fans separately and unexpectedly took their lives in 2017, Nottingham Forest Football Club and their Community Trust wanted to support the families in their efforts to make a difference.

The club asked for help from researchers from the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) – a partnership between the University of Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

Together, they developed a groundbreaking mental health awareness campaign which launched in May 2019. Three videos showed people from Nottingham talking about mental health issues, a self-help guide was distributed to the club’s 20,000 season ticket holders and details about key charities and organisations which offer further help and support were made available on the webpages.

Nottingham Forest ‘It’s Tricky to Talk’ Campaign

In August 2019, the club and community trust launched the Tricky Hub - a biweekly meet up at the City Ground giving fans who are feeling low the opportunity to socialise in safe, comfortable and familiar surroundings, with IMH experts on hand to support those who need it.

The reaction from fans has been overwhelming, buying campaign t-shirts, showing their support on social media using #ItsTrickyToTalk, and even sharing their own personal stories.

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“With fantastic support from the Institute of Mental Health and the University of Nottingham we feel that together we can make a real difference to the mental health of those closest to us.”

“By using the Nottingham Forest brand we can engage and help a demographic that is usually difficult to reach through our fans and community and encourage those who have historically found it ‘tricky to talk’.”

Rachel Whysall, Head of Performance at Nottingham Forest Community Trust