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Mental Health Awareness Week

McNeil: Team walks have a positive effect

15 May 2021
Mental Health Awareness Week, Dwight McNeil

Burnley midfielder speaks of how the great outdoors can be a real boost to mental wellbeing

Mental Health Awareness Week is taking place from 10-16 May and we have spoken to a number of Premier League players about their emotional wellbeing and how to maintain it.

Dwight McNeil (BUR)

The theme of this year's Mental Health Awareness Week is nature and the Burnley winger says being out and about in Lancashire has a positive effect on him, his team-mates and the wider local community whom they meet.

"Sometimes after the day of a game we go for walks around Gawthorpe Hall," McNeil says of the historic house near to the club's training ground. "Sometimes we run into the locals, just to pop in and be part of the community really.

"I think it's a big part of what we do when we go on our team walks, just to show our faces to the community and help out when we can."

Shared interests

McNeil also says having a shared interest with others can help people to focus away from what may be affecting their mental wellbeing, something he has personal experience of.

"When you are playing sports that you love, it can take your mind off it [a problem]," he says. "You are concentrating on a particular skill and you are around people you can enjoy it with and can help take you mind off it.

"It has helped take my mind off things that have gone on in my personal life."

More advice as to how your interests can help your mental wellbeing can be found in the Premier League’s #StayWell hub.

The hub shares tips and guidance from experts, the clubs and players as well as from the National Health Service and national organisations working in these areas to help supporters stay strong and positive.

Also in this series

Part 1: PL Primary Stars helping children look after mental health
Part 2: Man Utd Foundation inspiring children to discuss mental wellbeing
Part 3: Ward-Prowse: Getting out is so important for mental health
Part 4: Man City and NHS link up to boost mental health support
Part 5: How Norwich helped David set his own ambitions
Part 6: Southampton campaign supports fans' mental wellbeing
Part 7: Davies: We should all reach out to help others
Part 8: Sounds of a matchday boost Newcastle fans
Part 9: How Liverpool inspired Grace to help her school's mental health
Part 11: Aston Villa encouraging fans to keep on running

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