Mental Health Awareness Week 10-16 May 2021

May 17, 2021

Aligning with the club’s clear social purpose and values, Worcester City Women FC supported Mental Health Awareness Week by following the Mental Health Foundation’s theme of connecting with nature. Last week, members of the First Team joined together to walk up the Malvern Hills to show support for each other and raise awareness of the importance of connecting with nature to benefit our mental health.


Club Captain, Harley Jean Simpson said; ‘the players wanted to get together and do something different this week, as well as our usual training sessions, to support each other and Mental Health Awareness week. It was great to just walk and chat and have that social time together outside of football, especially because we’ve been apart for a large part of this season due to the pandemic.’

Welfare Officer, Jo Knight, also shared her own experiences of mental health and has written a powerful piece about her daughter’s anxiety disorder, which as a club we will continue to raise awareness of and support those affected. Read Jo’s blog below:


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Selective Mutism is a severe anxiety disorder affecting 1 in 140 children


Throughout lockdown people have turned to nature to help manage their mental health. My

daughter Molly who is now 9, loves being outdoors, we can’t go for a walk without her doing

somersaults and jumping off things. She’s funny, cheeky and always full of energy. Molly

is very popular with her friends and does well at school but behind her smile she struggles

every day.


She was diagnosed with Selective Mutism at the age of 4, this is a severe anxiety

disorder affecting 1 in 140 children. She only speaks to 5 close family members and her

friends at school, unable to talk to other adults and also other children in unfamiliar

situations. She has never spoken to a teacher and, although appearing fine at school, she

masks all of her worries and as soon as she gets home her behaviour changes and she

often has meltdowns.


Her anxiety not only stops her from talking, but also makes it hard to get her to school in themornings. She gets worried about new situations which can hugely affect her behaviour at Home. We as a family see the difficulties that Molly faces and have observed people’s

misconceptions of the disorder, thinking she’s rude or choosing not to speak but she

physically feels that she cannot. Being an advocate for Molly means I am always having to

explain her silence and be her voice.

The NHS statistics show that children’s mental health is at its highest rate. Children are having to wait too long for help and support. As selective mutism is a relatively unknowndisorder affecting children’s mental health, I want to raise as much awareness as possible.

In the meantime, we will continue to love the outdoors where Molly is comfortable showing off her skills and amazing personality.

Jo, Molly and Harley enjoyed a day together with Goalkeeper Ashli Pye Whitbury, Fitness Coach Sammy Burnham and their son, Levi, last week to enjoy the benefits of nature. Worcester City Women FC is a family, which will continue to support each other on and off the field.


During Mental health Awareness Week 2021, the Foundation promoted the evidence that demonstrates the powerful benefits of nature for our mental health. To read more about it and learn top tips on how to improve your mental health and support others, visit the Mental Health Foundation’s website at


For more information about selective mutism and to donate to this fantastic charity, please visit

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