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Goal Difference!

Posted on the 29th April 2015

Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust’s Mindsmatter team have set up the Goal Difference programme to help men of all ages who may be experiencing mental health problems. The programme uses football terminology to lead the ‘players’ (service users) through 11 ‘matches’ (sessions), one each week over the course of the 11 weeks, looking at different techniques that can be used to help improve their overall health and wellbeing. The programme is held once a week and teaches various Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) techniques to help the ‘players’ understand their thoughts and help them work towards improving their mental health.

The course is currently run at the following locations:

•    Chorley and South Ribble – Chorley Football Club
•    West Lancashire – JMO Sports Park, Skelmersdale
•    East Lancashire – Burnley Football Club
•    Preston – UCLan Sports Arena

Adam Gover, Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust and one of the course leaders for the Goal Difference programme in Chorley and South Ribble said:

“We find that men are the most difficult demographic to reach when it comes to providing help for people experiencing mental health difficulties, as they can be reluctant to seek help for a variety of reasons, including stigma around the illness. The Goal Difference programme provides a safe place where men of all ages can get together and each week learn different skills to help improve their mental health.

“We are extremely thankful to Chorley Football Club for providing us with a place to hold the sessions. It is a great location which moves away from a more traditional clinical setting and helps bring the programme to life.”

After each session, the ‘players’ are asked to set some goals, be it daily or weekly, that will help increase their confidence and overall wellbeing.

The programme works in partnership with the venues to provide a suitable location for the sessions to run. Here’s what a few of our partners had to say:

Glen Hutchinson, a Director at Chorley Football Club said:

“We are pleased to be able to work with Adam and the team at Lancashire Care to host the sessions. As a club we are always looking at ways to help within the community and it is important that we are able to work together on such a worthy cause to help raise awareness of mental health and reduce stigma, especially when it comes to men reaching out for help.”

Charlie Haynes, Manager at JMO said:

“It’s great to be able to support the Goal Difference programme and work with Ian and the team to promote awareness of such an important issue regarding men’s health. It’s especially pleasing that we are able to provide an appropriate environment considering that the vast majority of our customers are male. As a venue, we are always looking to work with local community groups and we hope the programme can continue to develop as a result of this partnership.”

Neil Hart, Director of Community Services at Burnley Football Club said:

“We are pleased to be able to work with the Goal Difference team from Lancashire Care to host the sessions. As a club we are committed to providing support to our local communities and it is great to work with programmes such as this which provide help for men who may be experiencing mental health issues, as well as working to reduce stigma and we hope it encourages more men to reach out for help and not suffer in silence.”

The Mindsmatter service, previously known at the Improving Access to Psychological Therapy (IAPT) team, consists of a dedicated team of Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners, Cognitive Behaviour Therapists and Counsellors who offer a range of support to anyone over the age of 16 years to help reduce depression, stress and anxiety and improve overall wellbeing.

To find out more about support in your area, please contact your local Mindsmatter team:

•    Chorley and South Ribble 01772 643168
•    East Lancashire on 01282 657230
•    Preston on 01772 773437
•    West Lancashire on 01695 588254

Alternatively you can find further information on the team’s website: