A support worker at Saint Benedict CVA has launched a new mental health and wellbeing support group with a video featuring a range of famous sporting faces.
Amateur boxer Sandy Ryan and former Derby County player Igor Stimac are among those who appear in the video created by Sean Hedley to promote his new support group, which is called Isolated Minds.
Sean retrained and achieved qualifications in mental health and safeguarding before taking on the role of support officer at Saint Benedict in the weeks before the Coronavirus pandemic hit the UK.
He used to work for Derby County Football Club, where he was instrumental in setting up a mental health support group for men called Team Talk.
Sean said: “I have done quite a bit of work in mental health since I left Derby County, people have been saying to me that I should set something else up and I always planned to do that. Since everything that’s happened with Coronavirus, this seemed like the right time.
“I’ve set up the group on Facebook and Twitter and I came up with the idea of doing a video with well known people in it. It was quite hard to organise. I managed to get quite a few people on board and posted it on Facebook where it has had about 3,000 views so far; it’s had about 4,000 views on Twitter. It could be up to 10 times that much though because some of the people who were in it have also shared it themselves. I’m really pleased with how it’s been received.”
Sean has plenty of plans in the pipeline for Isolated Minds and he would also like to run something similar that would be particularly aimed at young people.
He said: “Ideally, when lockdown is over I’d like to organise some walk-in sessions for Isolated Minds and I’ve got lots of ideas; I’d also like to do a podcast. When I was involved with Team Talk we had a games room and we’d have tea and coffee and sit and have a chat. That group was for men and Isolated Minds is for men and women.
“The group meetings wouldn’t be too structured, they would just be a chance to have a chat and find out how other people deal with issues that you might be going through. I’ve had quite a few messages from people since I launched the group, just talking about what they are struggling with at the moment.
“I’d like to look at a similar kind of concept for children and see if we could get some sports stars to reach out to them.”