As part of activities held at Shrewsbury College on October 10th, known around the world as 2018’s World Mental Health Day, Shrewsbury Town defender and Hub 365 founder Omar Beckles spoke to students around the importance of speaking out about an individual mental health, as well as opening up and being honest about how an individual feels.
The event, held in the Clayton Hall, saw mental health speakers including Omar Beckles, Matt and Andy Smith, and Telford mental health service BEAM discuss varying aspects of mental health, the support available across Shropshire, and why it is important to speak out.
Throughout his speech, Beckles, 26, referred back to the stigma that currently surrounds mental health and how the importance of speaking out about an individuals mental health can help to break the surrounding stigma.
Omar also spoke about his own experiences, where he has previously suffered from depression and anxiety, especially after the loss of his father three years ago. He spoke of his battle against these illnesses, and how they used to affect him, with the footballer regularly breaking down in tears on the way home from matches, as well as grinding and clenching his teeth during his sleep.
The event also gave him the chance to show those in attendance the launch video of his new charity, Hub365 Foundation, which aims to raise awareness around mental health issues and hopefully go part of the way towards breaking the stigma that he so often speaks about.
The foundation was set up in the memory of his father, and Beckles hopes that the foundation will be able to continue to make a positive impact on the community, firstly in Shropshire and then further afield.
Beckles, who has been working closing with Shrewsbury Town in the Community to deliver the message, is also a big supporter of what the charity does, and the impact that sessions have on individuals, and recently visited the “Heads Up” session that Shrewsbury Town in the Community run.
Heads up is a session designed to allow those suffering from a diagnosable mental health condition to get out and play football in a fun and safe environment. The sessions, held weekly at the Shrewsbury Powerleague pitches between 1pm and 2pm, are open to all abilities and genders of footballers, with the aim about getting people playing football.
For more information on the Hub365 foundation, visit @Hub_365 on twitter, and for more information on Shrewsbury Town in the Community’s Heads Up sessions, you can contact them by email