Arsenal footballers and teenage boys encouraging young people to Just Talk

PUBLISHED: 11:25 25 January 2018 | UPDATED: 11:25 25 January 2018

Arsenal midfielder Charlie Gilmour pictured supporting the Just Talk campaign.

Arsenal midfielder Charlie Gilmour pictured supporting the Just Talk campaign.

Archant

Footballers, campaigners, and teenagers are joining forces to encourage young people to Just Talk.

Arsenal centre-back Krystian Bielik pictured supporting the Just Talk campaign.Arsenal centre-back Krystian Bielik pictured supporting the Just Talk campaign.

The new campaign is being launched to help five to 16-year-olds, 10 per cent of whom have a significant mental health problem.

Herts County Council’s cabinet member for public health Richard Roberts said: “Many young people fear judgement and embarrassment if they talk about mental health problems, but the fact is we all have mental health, like we have physical health.

“Through our ‘Just Talk’ campaign, we want young people, especially boys and young men, to know it’s OK to not be OK and sharing a problem with someone they trust is the first step to feeling better.”

Youth Connexions Hertfordshire, the national campaign Time to Change, and the NHS are helping advise the project, which is being represented by footballers from Arsenal and Watford and St Albans schoolchildren.

Arsenal midfielder Charlie Gilmour, 18, said: “If you ever need any help or have any worries then Just Talk, make sure you Just Talk.”

Watford Football Club centre-back Christian Kabasele, 26, said: “I’m supporting Just Talk. We all struggle sometimes and talking shows our strength.”

Ben, 17, from St Albans, said: “None of us can solve our problems by keeping them hidden. Just Talk.”

Year 13 St Albans student Mridula said: “It’s better to say something than to say nothing. Just Talk.”

Time to Change research revealed 49 per cent of teenage boys in the UK would not feel comfortable talking to their dads about their mental health because their dad doesn’t talk about his feelings and they wouldn’t want to burden him.

Sandringham School pupil Manas, 16, said: “I believe staying quiet exacerbates and talking alleviates. Just Talk.”

Youth Connexions Hertfordshire’s Debi Roberts said: “We all have bad days and it’s just important we talk, talk to each other, whoever, but talk.”

Ten to 25 year olds in Herts can get free online support and counselling at www.kooth.com

For more information, visit www.healthyyoungmindsinherts.org.uk/justtalk

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