Great Minds is a new collaborative project launched in September that is part of the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership’s broader suicide prevention work.

It is being carried out in partnership with State of Mind Sport. We will also be working closely with a variety of clubs across WY&H including super-league and smaller community clubs.

Our project is a set of workshops aimed at men, helping them work through various mental health issues that challenge their equilibrium. It will link into the national and local public health initiatives that are directly concerned with suicide prevention specifically for men. The project aims to work alongside public health leads to help them provide an alternative support in the six places of the ICS, reaching out to the most vulnerable via social media and direct contact with sporting groups, clubs and communities.

The sessions are being delivered by former rugby league professionals and mental health first aid trainers Danny Sculthorpe, Jimmy Gittins, Phil Veivers and Ian Smith pictured below

Graham one of the men attending has written a poem about Great Minds in the best Yorkshire language!!

Sometimes its not easy being a bloke,
an am not rate good wi emotional stuff.
an stuff like depression can’t hurt me!
cos am Yorkshire, am a man, an am tuff.

But just nar, am at end o mi tether ,
exhausted an anxious an stressed,
An thoughts av started gerrin stuck in mi mind,
Mekin mi angry cos am trying mi best.

Then a got wind of a place that could help mi,
A place that helps blokes wi same problems as me,
Its called Great Minds an they get people talking,
An Its in Yorkshire, rate friendly, an free.

When a rang the said come an join us,
an a felt it was just meant to be.
So a joined in an listened to some of the blokes,
an tother blokes started listening to me.

Now am not as shy as a were abart talking,
Even abart private or personal things,
an theres no need for fear, cos there’s no judgement here
So I’ll keep talkin an see what that brings.

Graham 2020

Moral…. If yer want to turn despair into hope, and turn hope into a path of recovery,
Then open your mind look up an you’ll find, GREAT MINDS is a welcome discovery.
…don’t be afraid to be the Lover as well as the Warrior. Cos that’s what most men a made of.

Great Minds will deliver initial sessions online covering basic mental fitness, stress management, building resilience, exploring emotional intelligence, problem solving and anger management. Former professional and successful, recognisable sportspeople will share their stories and the coping strategies that they have used when faced with life changing events such as mental health challenges, bereavement through suicide, mental fitness challenges and other mental health conditions that have affected their wellbeing.

For more information about Great Minds email and watch our video.