If U Care, Share

By Ray Simpson

If U Care, Share

DFC supports mental health charity


Darlington FC players are supporting a campaign to promote World Suicide Prevention Day.

Every year the mental health and suicide prevention charity, If U Care Share, based in Chester-le-Street, organise a campaign to encourage people to wear an item of clothing inside out.

The idea is to spread the message - get what’s on the inside, out - and start conversations which could save lives.

This year’s campaign was launched at the Stadium of Light before Sunderland’s 5-0 win over Southampton at the Stadium of Light when players from both teams wore the charity’s t-shirts. 

Players from Middlesbrough and Queen’s Park Rangers, as well as Rotherham United and Norwich City, also wore the garments before their respective Championship clashes.

And now Darlington players will have their chance to back this life-saving campaign when they wear the specially-designed t-shirts before their FA Cup second qualifying round tie at home to Workington this Friday night.

Inside Out Day landed on September 10, which is designated as World Suicide Prevention Day. As this was a weekend designated for international fixtures, the charity has extended their support across the whole month.

And last week workers from the charity were at Blackwell as part of the promotional campaign to place a huge version of the t-shirt on the pitch and in front of the Tin Shed.

Among them was former Darlington junior Thomas Young, who made a handful of appearances for the club in the Martin Gray era, and now works as a presenter for the charity to help spread the life-saving message and deliver mental health and suicide prevention workshops across the country. 

If U Care Share has provided mental health and suicide prevention workshops, and support, to clubs and academy players, and their families, throughout the Premier League, EFL and WSL for more than a decade.

The workshops are catered for young players from the age of six, up to the older youth teams and first team. The majority of Gareth Southgate’s and Sarina Wiegman’s England squads have taken part in an If U Care Share session - and taken one of the famous bright green stress balls home too!

If U Care Share held their first mental health workshop at Sunderland Football Club academy in 2011 and since then has provided practical and emotional support to those affected by suicide as well as individual support to those deemed to be directly at risk.

The charity’s co-founder Matthew Smith said: “Since the inception of our Inside Out Campaign in 2015, we have reached communities across the country with this lifesaving message.

“This year we hope that this message can be carried even further by utilising the power of football.

“We are extremely grateful to receive support from clubs at all levels, from the Premier League to non- league and across the women’s game too, and we encourage anyone and everyone to turn an items, or items, of clothing inside out and be a part of this lifesaving movement.

“Feeling helpless, worthless or hopeless are common feelings associated with feeling suicidal and often those thoughts can be overwhelming and prevent you from feeling anything else.

“With pressures like the cost of living crisis impacting individuals and families, it is more important than ever to encourage people close to us to talk about their feelings and access the support that is available. As well as longer-term emotional support we have a 24/7 text service which is there for people who need to talk.”