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Mental Health Awareness Week

Ruddy: Mental health project helps people let off steam

12 May 2022
Mental Health Awareness Week, John Ruddy, Wolverhampton Wanderers

Wolves goalkeeper spends time with participants who have been helped by the Head 4 Health programme

For the last three years, Wolverhampton Wanderers have been supporting the mental wellbeing of the local community with their Head 4 Health programme.

Funded by the Premier League and Professional Footballers' Association Community Fund, and delivered by the Wolves Foundation, Head 4 Health gives participants the opportunity to talk about their mental health, attend workshops and take part in physical activity.

To mark Mental Health Awareness Week, Wolves goalkeeper John Ruddy attended a Walk & Talk session around the Molineux pitch to chat with participants and talk about their concerns, which for many have been brought into sharp focus by the Coronavirus pandemic.

"After the last two-and-a-half years I think a lot of people have realised that they felt isolated without having COVID," said 35-year-old Ruddy.

"It's amazing to be able to come and speak to them, really just let off some steam, but also then find a social group you can connect with as well and develop friendships.

"It doesn't matter what you do for a job, doesn't matter what your living situations are, your financial situations are, people have different problems. It's important that people understand that."

One of the participants to have benefited from the support of Head 4 Health is John Nutting, who has been a Wolves fan for 65 years.

'Unlocking problems'

"I originally came and did a Head 4 Health taster session in November," he said. "We've managed to unlock problems I've had for 47 years, and I feel so much lighter now because I’m getting rid of those issues bit by bit.

"I'd certainly recommend that people come and join Head 4 Health - the group has been amazing. We've got on so well with each other and everybody has been really open. It has been fantastic."

To access The Premier League's growing library of expert advice and top tips to support positive mental and physical health, visit our  #StayWell hub.

Also in this series

Part 1: UK football family reaffirms commitment to mental health
Part 2: McAtee: Team-mates can help your mental health
Part 3: Lennon: I didn't realise there was so much help around
Part 4: Mertesacker: Wellbeing support is crucially important
Part 5: Mertesacker: We need to be able to express our feelings
Part 6: Premier League managers unite to tackle suicide

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