‘I forgot what it was like to be happy’: The Notts woman ‘saved’ by Notts County’s Football in the Community

Helen has become so confident through Right Mind she recently purchased a moped.

A Notts woman said she has been ‘saved’ by Notts County’s mental health programme as part of the club’s Football in the Community scheme.

Right Mind is designed to help women with mental health issues by offering fun exercise activities delivered by trained coaches.

Helen Key has successfully participated in the Right Mind programme after discovering a leaflet for the programme and opted to give it a go.

After suffering a nervous breakdown in 2015, she says it took her the best part of those two years to feel ‘like a normal adult’ again.

Speaking during mental health awareness week, Helen said: “I have got ADHD and I have a lot of energy and needed an outlet and the programme at Notts County looked appealing and I am so glad I did it.

“Two years ago, I had a nervous breakdown and there were quite a few events that led up to it.

“I had a few relapses, so it took two years in total for me to feel like a stable adult.

“I don’t know how I’d have turned out If I hadn’t have come across this; I don’t think I’d have come out after the breakdown, so it kind of saved me.”

Helen (left) with Project Coordinator Claire Wilmott.

Exercise has been proven to alleviate the symptoms of mental health problems in women and the group activities allow many of the women to confront problems with social anxiety.

The women can select different sports to take part in each week such as football, hockey and circuit training.

After the activities, the women go into another room to take part in discussions and games in order to develop teamwork and social skills.

Helen said: “I come from a music background and I like to rap, with my music name Primo.

“I didn’t really respect myself or give it the credit where it’s due, and since I’ve come here, it has made me gain a large respect for football, female football and sports.

“People work together and that’s what I needed.

“We do all kinds of fun things, we do circuit training, hockey basketball, netball, we go to the park and play football, but we don’t get to do much of it, and I’d like us to do more.

“It’s great when you have people who you can be yourself around, I hadn’t had that in so long that I forgot what it was like to be happy.”

The Right Mind programme runs once a week, Wednesday 10am-11.30am at the Portland Centre on Muskham Street, Nottingham.

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