A leading mental health and wellbeing charity has supported West Bromwich Albion Football Club to develop its Mental Health and Wellbeing strategy which was launched by the club earlier this month.

The Kaleidoscope Plus Group has worked with the club to devise its strategy, which aims to support and promote the welfare of its staff and volunteers and will provide Mental Health First Aid Training as well as ongoing advice and support.

The strategy outlines the club’s commitment to ensuring mental health and wellbeing remain a priority as Albion works to maintain a healthy and productive workforce.

Chief Executive Monica Shafaq said: “We are delighted to have been able to offer our expertise in defining the strategy. The club have been very open and receptive to our guidance and their genuine desire to support the mental health and wellbeing of their workforce has been exemplary.

“Mental health has a huge stigma within football, so it’s great to see a club taking a genuine interest in helping to remove that stigma. The strategy aims to be the foundation from which a supportive and nurturing environment can be created, which will both help prevent mental health issues arising but will also be proactive should they occur.

“Mental ill health costs UK employers up to £26 billion every year through lost working days, staff turnover and lower productivity and accounts for almost 70 million days off sick per year.

“Communication is vital, and we will encourage those at the club to be open about their mental health and how they’re coping with the many challenges they face – The Kaleidoscope Plus Group being there to help is a huge part of that, which makes this a perfect partnership.”

The charity will also offer ongoing support through its accredited mental health training courses.

Albion’s Chief Executive Xu Ke said: “We recognise that in today’s increasingly complex and fast-paced world there is a general concern about the pressures in people’s lives that can have an impact on mental health and wellbeing. We also recognise that the nature of our industry is such that staff and scholars may be exposed to fast moving and challenging situations.

“Through our commitment to making mental health and wellbeing a club priority and by encouraging all staff to take responsibility for positive mental health and wellbeing, we believe that staff can fulfil their roles and operate within an environment that enables them to stay mentally fit with a positive sense of connection with others. By creating a more proactive and preventative approach to mental health, we understand the importance of removing stigma and we are committed to treating mental health with the same passion and drive as we do with physical health problems.