This week, club officials and fans came together for an online social session as part of the EFL’s Team Talk campaign.
A number of club and Argyle Community Trust staff were joined by first-team coach Kevin Nancekivell and Pilgrims midfielder Conor Grant to talk men’s mental health with supporters who had engaged in Trust activities over the past 18 months.
The hour-long call included a question and answer session with the Argyle duo, as well as a round-table discussion on mental health, and the impact of lockdown on mental and physical wellbeing.
Nance said: “The last 12 months have been difficult for everyone, in different ways, and it was an honour to be able to spend some time with supporters during the Team Talk event.
“Mental health is a very important thing, and I am proud that our club is so active in the community. We are missing our fans, and it was a great experience for me to spend some time with them on the Zoom call and share some stories.”
New research into men’s mental health suggests that, while some progress has been made, men feel worried or low more regularly than ten years ago and are consequently twice as likely to feel suicidal.
The findings are part of ‘Get It Off Your Chest: Men’s mental health 10 years on’ – a report commissioned by Mind as part of its charity partnership with the EFL. The report compares new polling data from YouGov with results from 2009 to understand how the challenges facing men’s mental health have changed over the past 10 years.
Results show that one of the top alternatives to medication includes social activity, which during the pandemic has been difficult for many people, especially football supporters with matches being behind closed doors until the recent return of a very small number of fans to EFL fixtures in limited areas of the country.
Conor said: “It was an honour to spend an hour with these guys and discuss mental health as part of the group. It is a subject that I feel very passionate about, and I can only imagine how difficult it must be for our supporters not to be able to attend games at the moment.
“As a footballer, I feel privileged to do what I do, and I am just happy to be able to spend some time with people in our community.”
The Argyle Community Trust has led on a number of mental health initiatives in the past 12 months, taking a particular focus on tackling loneliness the community.
To read more on the EFL’s Team Talk campaign, click here. For information on the Argyle Community Trust’s Tackling Loneliness Together project, click here.