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Article published on: Tuesday, 10 January 2023

Bucks Mind’s Champion the Change campaign will be raising awareness of mental health and tackling the associated stigma at the forthcoming fixture between Wycombe Wanderers and Sheffield Wednesday at Adams Park on Saturday 14th January.

Champion the Change seeks to positively change the way people think and act about mental health by encouraging open and productive conversations and knowledge of where to go for help. Stigma can often prevent people accessing the support they need early enough which could delay their recovery as well contribute to their mental health challenges.

Bucks Mind will be the Wycombe Wanderers FC’s charity partner for the meeting with the Owls, and male Wanderers supporters are encouraged to register their place at a forthcoming session of Chairboys Chat, which is a regular series of meetings that are hosted by Wycombe Wanderers Foundation and encourage men to talk about issues relating to mental health and wellbeing.

Simon Wears, the Head of Health & Wellbeing at Wycombe Wanderers Foundation, said:

Bucks Mind play a tremendous role in our local community, helping many people with their mental health and providing guidance for how anyone can help a friend in need.

Wycombe Wanderers has a proud recent history of working to end mental health stigma which brought great awareness to thousands of fans at a number of matchdays, and looks forward to welcoming the Champion The Change team here for the Sheffield Wednesday fixture.

Chairboys Chat is a fantastic programme run by the Foundation which brings male Wycombe fans together on a regular basis to chat freely and openly about mental health matters, and we want to make sure as many supporters as possible are aware of this help that is at hand from their club.

Isobel Shea, Champion the Change Coordinator at Buckinghamshire Mind, said:

We know that far less men seek help for their mental health than women, and three times as many men die by suicide than women*. The stigmatising beliefs that men have to ‘man up’ about their feelings can be a barrier preventing them from opening up and seeking help. We raise awareness about the signs and symptoms of low mental health, and encourage people to talk about emotional wellbeing . Through our partnership with Wycombe Wanderers FC and the Wycombe Wanderers Foundation, we hope to support men across Bucks and transform attitudes to mental health.

Please look out for the Champion The Change team around Adams Park on Saturday 14th January.

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