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'Everybody's welfare is very important'

Rovers is uniting with football clubs across the country to kick off the biggest ever conversation on mental health

8 February 2020

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Ahead of tomorrow's encounter against Fulham, Tony Mowbray has highlighted the importance of opening up and speaking out when it comes to mental health.

Rovers will join clubs across the nation to display the Heads Up emblem across stadiums, programmes and player kit, in a major unifying moment that aims to get the nation talking about mental health.

As part of the Heads Up Weekend, Rovers will have the Heads Up logo on match shirts, there will be content throughout our matchday programme, on the big screen and on social media, and senior management will be wearing pin badges on matchday.

“Everybody’s welfare is very important," Mowbray told iFollow Rovers

“The world we live in today, there’s a lot of awareness in mental health now.

“I’m very conscious when it comes to mental health because of the amount of self talk you have with yourself as a manager about your team and the highs and the lows you go through in football.

“It’s pretty extreme and the lows are sometimes lower than what most people will feel in life.

“The highs, they can be really exhilarating when it’s your team and you’ve done the work and it all works out.

“I’ve had one or two players that I’ve managed who have been vocal on TV about their experiences recently, and although I don’t sit here and confess to being an expert on mental health, if I can help anybody in any walk of life then I will.

“Footballers live in a world where they can be affected by social media all the time whether they’ve been good or been rubbish.

“As a manager, there is criticism and shouts that I don’t know what I’m doing, how I should pick certain players, that sort of thing," he added.

“So as a coach it can be mentally tough. You have to try and protect yourself from it and have a thick shield.

“Some people are strong and some people are not so strong, some people need a little bit more support than others.

“My players know that my door is always open, they know I’m family orientated myself and have a young family around me.

“I have young boys and there are several times over the last few years where we’ve told them to forget about the match and to go and spend time with their family.

“There is always somebody that can look after a game or run a training session, but for the people you love and care about, you have to be there to support them," he said.

“I encourage my players to do that and that’s important. It’s important to have each other’s back and to support them through life."

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