By Kris Jepson
On the day Prince William launched a new campaign that uses football to get men talking about their mental health, the Newcastle United Foundation has told ITV News Tyne Tees it has already helped hundreds of men and women deal with aspects of their mental wellbeing through football and educational sessions.
The North East recorded the highest rate of suicides in 2017 and that is why the Foundation says it is important to offer such programmes like its #BeAGameChanger initiative, which launched in February and has already engaged with more than 350 active members and a further 429 members on Facebook.
Watch @krisjepson's report here:
One group of men meet each week to take part in a game of walking football at West Denton Leisure Centre.
Charity worker, Darin Lambton, attended during Mental Health Awareness Week and told ITV News he can see the benefits football brings.
Another man, Alec Wilson, who supported a relative who was diagnosed with depression, said the initiative has opened his eyes to how depression and anxiety can affect people and their families.
The members of staff who work for the Newcastle United Foundation told ITV News the programme is aimed at breaking down the barriers of language surrounding mental health, to make it more accessible to people who find it difficult to talk about their feelings.
Oliver Bell, from the Foundation, said "we talk about things like sleep and stress and anger and coping mechanisms to those issues and that can help men to understand what mental health is without calling it mental health and without describing as mental health."