Bengaluru FC on Saturday announced the launch of ‘Care Around The Corner’ — the ISL club’s programme to raise awareness on mental health and provide the players and staff with on-call professional help through the season.
The launch coincided with the World Mental Health Day.
The programme entails bringing on board a professional mental health expert who will conduct regular sessions with the first team and staff, along with sessions for the academy teams.
The players and staff will also have access to the mental health expert for one-on-one consultation at all times by way of video sessions.
“Mental health is such an important conversation, but it’s also one that we don’t have as much as we should in Indian sport. We felt a definite need to add this aspect to the team for this season, and every season going forward,” said club CEO, Mandar Tamhane.
“Care Around The Corner is a very important step we are taking to ensure that our players and staff fully understand the importance of mental wellness as well as have access to professional help whenever they feel the need arise.
“Also, the circumstances surrounding the season will begin to get harder with every passing day, and we feel the programme can play a big role now, more than ever.”
Adding solidity to the programme is the knowledge share provided by club partners Rangers FC on the subject. Rangers’ team of mental health experts will be conducting workshops with the team and staff to introduce the subject and create awareness around it.
“We have been in constant touch with our friends at Rangers who have a fantastic player care programme in place. And having them lend their expertise to Care Around The Corner is yet another example of how beneficial our partnership has been,” added Tamhane.
Players and staff aside, the club will also use its presence to create awareness about the subject of mental well-being.
Club goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, who has been vocal about the importance of mental wellness and seeking professional help in the past, said that the the programme is one the team will benefit from immensely.
“I think it’ll be great. I want every player and staff member to use this as an opportunity to become better and have a better understanding about your own self, because as men and as football players we are always told to be strong and not feel.
“I think it is important to have a safe and a non-judgmental space in a professional club so that players can open up and look after themselves and those around them.”