A mental health charity has been announced as the sponsor for a football club in a bid to tackle stigma around mental health.
The Kaleidoscope Plus Group will now appear on home and away kits for Kidderminster Harriers.
The club’s chief executive, Neil Male, said mental health was “still a huge stigma within the football community”.
“We want to work with players… to educate them that it’s okay not to be okay,” he said.
Earlier this year, the Professional Footballers’ Association reported a “spike” in the number of footballers seeking mental health support.
In February, Prince William joined forces with professional players to launch ‘Heads Up Weekends’, a scheme targeted at normalising conversations on mental health.
“We talk about physical fitness, we never really talk about mental fitness,” the Duke said at the time.
“We all need to stay mentally fit, none more so than professional athletes who… have got to have their heads razor sharp as well as their feet and legs.”
The Kaleidoscope Plus Group is the first mental health charity to be supporting a National League club, its CEO Monica Shafaq, said.
“This isn’t simply about being a sponsor,” she said. “Our sponsorship is designed not only to raise awareness and encourage people to talk about mental health, but also to signpost them to relevant services.”
Ms Shafaq said she hopes “entwining mental health with football” through the partnership will “allow players to really understand the importance of their teammates’ wellbeing as well as their own”.