The English Football League have teamed up with mental health charity Mind to create a live exhibit at London's King's Cross station, drawing attention to the ways in which football can help in tackling these pressing issues.
James Shea of Luton Town, Deji Oshilaja of AFC Wimbledon, Luke Prosser of Colchester Utd and Darius Charles of Wycombe Wanderers were a key part of the temporary installation, as they posed as footballers with visible and invisible ailments.
This was in order to explicitly convey the worrying statistic that one in four people will experience a mental health problem each year.
Three of them posed as players with a clearly visible injury, as they lent on crutches and the like, while the fourth stood on the platform with no such impediments in sight - signalling that mental health is equally important, but much harder to decipher when it is not talked about.
The fact that this was taking place in a train station was not happenstance.
As Debbi Jevans, the Interim Chair of the EFL, explained: "With 1 in 4 EFL supporters using train travel to attend matches, we chose Kings Cross Station to highlight the need to raise awareness of the challenges around mental health and the work the EFL and its charity partner, Mind, will be doing to offer help and support those in need.”
This particular event is just one part of a much wider partnership that the EFL have launched with Mind this season. Indeed, as part of this pioneering collaboration, all 72 teams in the English Football League have the Mind logo embossed on the back of their shirts for 2018/19.
Raising awareness, and ensuring people are more comfortable in talking about such issues is at the heart of the campaign. Speaking on the partnership, the CEO of Mind, Paul Farmer, declared: “Whether you’re a star striker or season ticket-holder you shouldn’t have to live in fear about opening up and getting support for either your physical or mental health.
"We’re delighted to have joined with the EFL to create the On Your Side charity Partnership to make sure that no one has to tackle a mental health problem alone.
"Today, on World Mental Health Day, and all days, Mind and the EFL are On Your Side."