Everton have recently launched a new mental health focused campaign to raise funds to build a permanent facility – called ‘The People’s Place’ - in the shadows of Goodison Park, in conjunction with their official charity 'Everton in the Community'.
Backed by the CEO Professor Denise Barrett-Baxendale, players and manger, fundraising for ‘The People’s Place’ is due to begin at the start of the 2018/19 season. The idea is to develop, construct and maintain a purpose-built facility just 500 metres from the stadium, to become a delivery site for existing programmes.
The charity have been operating for more than 10 years, and in that time they have helped over 5,000 people with their bespoke programmes. For this project, they will team up with fellow charity 'Chasing the Stigma' to provide a service for anyone in need, regardless of age, gender or any other stipulations, to counteract the all-time high levels of people crying out for such support.
The Merseyside club also made a commitment to equip all its staff with an understanding of mental health through accredited training; educating them on mental health and how best to identify if someone is struggling with mental health issues and where and how to signpost them to support.
Everton's CEO Professor Denise Barrett-Baxendale has declared: “Mental illnesses, unlike physical injuries, are invisible to everyone but to those experiencing them. Their reality is no different and no less painful.
"Many people suffer in silence, unaware that helpful and supportive treatments are available. Our new facility will work to encourage people to talk more freely and will operate an open-door policy to anyone needing to talk."
Everton's new first team manager Marco Silva added: “Since the first day I arrived at the Club, everyone talked to me about the Everton Family. We are more than just a club, we are a family. We want to keep creating this fantastic connection between us and our fans and all of the community.
“This People’s Place project is important to us as a Club. Me and my staff are here to support and do everything we can.”