Saturday 10 October is World Mental Health Day, and the CAFE team is joining with friends, partners and colleagues to encourage wider discussions around mental health.

This year's theme set by the World Federation for Mental Health is 'mental health for all' which is more important than ever before in light of the unprecedented impact of the current global health emergency. 

We know that the levels of anxiety, fear, isolation, social distancing and restrictions, uncertainty and emotional distress experienced have become widespread as the world struggles to bring the virus under control and to find solutions.

Earlier in the year, CAFE published its Covid-19 Impact Report which sought to gain a better understanding of the impact of the pandemic on disabled football fans, and in particular the suspension of live matches.

The pandemic has obviously had a significant effect on everybody, but disabled people have been particularly affected with many labelled as 'high-risk' and unable to maintain the same level of social interaction as non-disabled people.

Lived experience mental health advocate with an NHS Adult ADHD Service and founder of Attention UK, Poppy Ellis Logan spoke to CAFE of her concerns regarding the pandemic's impact on disabled peoples' mental health. She highlighted in particular the lack of sense of community, feeling connected to other people and how this can lead to increased loneliness and isolation.

In many countries, suicide is the leading cause of death among young people aged 20-34 years. Research led by the University of Manchester in 2017 found that only 27% of people who died by suicide between 2005 and 2015 in the United Kingdom had been in contact with mental health services in the year before they died.

As the world's most popular sport, football has an important role to play in promoting mental health awareness.

Last year, CAFE Media and Communications Manager Michael Rice shared a blog post discussing how the death of his friend, a keen football fan, encouraged him and his fellow supporters to speak more openly about their mental health.

"If you feel like you are struggling, speak with someone and do not be afraid to discuss how you are feeling. It is not a sign of weakness, it is a show of strength", said Michael.

In 2019, CAFE also published a Note on mental health, analysing how the topic relates to the social model of disability and the terminology used to describe mental health.

To find out more about World Mental Health Day, visit

Published 9/10/2020