The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust (CST) ‘Over the Line’ Mental Health Hub returns for our next game, versus Aston Villa on Sunday.
- Supporter-led initiative announced by CST in response to increased mental health issues faced by fans.
- Hub offers free information, advice, and sources of support in a confidential and familiar environment.
- Project developed with support of Chelsea FC and Chelsea Foundation as a way for fans to help fans.
The initiative, in which fans who may be experiencing issues can speak confidentially to qualified mental health professionals and specialists in a familiar environment, will be based in the Tea Bar, next to the ticket office at Stamford Bridge, and will be open from 11.30am.
The Mental Health Hub has been founded by the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust as part of its wider Over the Lineinitiative that launched in 2021. Over the Line is a mental health signposting and education resource specifically aimed at Chelsea supporters. The Over the Line website aims to help people recognise their own problems and then find the resources that support people make that first step ’over the line’.
This resource has been launched by the CST following the growing need to help Chelsea fans come to terms with their own mental health issues and to help them take the next step.
It will be staffed by two trained counsellors from the charity Hammersmith & Fulham, Ealing and Hounslow Mind, along with Chelsea Foundation staff, and will offer anyone who is experiencing difficulties a place to go for support and advice.
The programme has been developed as a way for fans to help fans and will offer free information, advice, and sources of support on issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, addiction and OCD. There is also help on hand for coping with grief, becoming a new parent, difficulty sleeping, and more.
The ‘Over the Line’ Mental Health Hub welcomes all Chelsea supporters and is a supporter-led initiative funded and supported by Chelsea FC and Chelsea Foundation.
Chelsea Supporters’ Trust board member and Over the Line co-founder David Chidgey said: ‘The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust is proud to have launched this important service for Chelsea supporters at Stamford Bridge.
‘Since the pandemic, data shows us that people are struggling more than ever with their mental health – it is therefore vital that we help to change the often negative attitudes towards mental health.
‘As we head into the new season, it is important that fans help fans, and we hope that the Matchday Mental Health Hub will encourage those who may be struggling to seek help and support in a familiar environment.’
Lord Daniel Finkelstein OBE, Chelsea board member and chair of Chelsea FC Foundation said: ‘Chelsea FC is delighted to help support the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust and their Over The Line initiative which provides important signposting services for looking to improve their wellbeing and mental health. This has been a collaborative approach, working with the club, Chelsea FC Foundation, the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust and Hammersmith & Fulham, Ealing and Hounslow Mind, and an excellent example of working together to help drive positive change. We hope this is the first of many fan-led initiatives we see in the future.’
Yvonne Jones, acting director of adult services and safeguarding adults lead, Hammersmith & Fulham, Ealing and Hounslow Mind, said: ‘Teamwork is a foundation of success both and on and off the pitch. HFEH Mind is therefore excited to partner with Chelsea FC and the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust to deliver the Over The Line campaign.
‘One in four people in England experience a mental health issue each year, and studies show that men are less likely to talk about their wellbeing. We therefore see campaigns like Over The Line as essential to raise awareness of mental health and the support services available. We look forward to meeting Chelsea supporters on the day and finding new ways to work together in future.’