Young people in Rotherham with mental health needs can now set goals and net advice on the football pitch!


As the town gears up to mark World Mental Health Day on October 10 a new initiative has been launched to support young people with mental health issues.

Rotherham United Football Club’s Community Trust has joined forces with local health trust, Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH) to run a project called Safety Nets.

The initiative is the brainchild of Dr Ryan Dias, a speciality trainee in psychiatry and Leadership Fellow in Physical Health and Mental Health Quality Improvement who has been supported by RDaSH staff Rebecca Snape and Lucy Woodward.

Ryan said: “The project aims to create therapy groups for children to improve their mental and emotional wellbeing. The groups run at Rotherham United for eight weeks with each weekly group focusing on different aspects of physical and mental health. 

“Each group runs for two hours after school in term time, the first hour focussing on physical activity which is led by Rotherham United staff, and the second hour focusing on psychoeducation, led by staff from Rotherham’s Children and Young People’s Mental Health Service (CAMHS).”

Barbara Murray, RDaSH’s manager for CAMHS, said: “The football club is at the heart of the community in Rotherham and young people are of admiration of the players, this supports the message around mental health and helps to reduce the stigma of mental health.  It is great to have the young people and CAMHS staff doing football training and physical exercise side-by-side instead of being in a clinic setting.”

Young people are referred to the scheme via CAMHS staff.

Jamie Noble, Head of Community at Rotherham United, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with RDaSH to further expand our footprint in the town by working alongside such an incredible team to support young people with mental health issues. As many know mental health issues have risen dramatically and we believe that it is important to tackle the problem at the preventative stage especially for young people who have been identified by the clinical professionals.”