A LOCAL Sunday football league will be focusing on giving mental health the boot during the upcoming season by raising awareness and money for Mind.

The Weymouth Sunday Football League announced its plans to tackle the stigma around mental health at its latest annual general meeting and outlined its vision for the campaign to managers of local teams.

Throughout the season the league will be fundraising for Mind through charity matches and its 'Chuck it in the Bucket' campaign, where collection buckets will be at every game so that players, managers and fans can make donations to the charity.

The league also wants to encourage others to take up their own fundraising challenges. Its 'Players Challenge' scheme will help support those who want to take up their own charitable project like a head shave or sky dive.

Elysia Jade Munday, vice chairman of the league, said: "We will offer them support and help them work with Mind by advertising their own challenges and fundraisers because some of the players and managers will want to personally raise money in memory of friends they have lost to mental health.

"We opened it up to the managers for any ideas they wanted to do but they were all really happy with the plan we put to them. They were all excited by this partnership and thought it was the right thing for the league to do.

"Our Sunday league has quite a diverse age range but we obviously deal with the age groups and demographics most affected by mental health.

"Male mental health is affected by the stigma. Men are taught to just suck it up and not talk about their mental health. We wanted to use this platform we have for good.

"The most important thing to achieve is to create that atmosphere where men feel comfortable to talk about mental health.

"We have been talking to the managers and handing out literature to point them in the right direction in what they can be doing or how to approach someone and just say 'Are you ok mate?' because that is all it takes to break the cycle sometimes.

"We want to make it normal for men to say they are not ok instead of putting on a brave face.

"It is ridiculous that mental health has this stigma around it but we are making progress and we will keep working on it."