Arsenal x MFF – Extra Time: a football themed fatherhood conversation for dads
On Sunday 27th November, we partnered with Arsenal in the Community to host one of our Extra Time events at The Emirates stadium.
The event bought dads together as a supportive group to have discussions around fatherhood, to support each other and to share experiences.
We know that 1 in 8 men are suffering from a common mental health problem like depression and anxiety, 10% of new dads will experience some symptoms of Post Natal Depression and that suicide is the biggest killer of men under the age of 45.
We also know that, because of ideas around what it means to be a man and masculinity, it can be difficult for some men to find support through friendships or professional services. So peer support and opportunities to meet like-minded people for honest conversations is really important.
In addition to the mental health benefits, peer support sessions for men are also a good opportunity to learn from each other and think about positive masculinity. This involves thinking about how embracing emotions, sharing stories, seeking support and maintaining good male friendships can be transformative to our relationships, our parenting and our contributions to our communities and our workplaces.
The Extra Time event was absolutely amazing. The power of the conversations and the moments shared are hard to put into words. The support that the men showed each other and the care and empathy in the room was very special to see.
One of the guys said that it was like therapy, sharing and connecting with like-minded dads who ‘get it’.
After the group session in the Emirates Lounge, the dads headed down for a stadium tour by the Arsenal in the Community team. They visited the dressing room, the media room and took lots of pictures by the pitch side!We want to say a thank you to all the dads that came to the event and made it so special.
This event built on our events with QPR and Brentford and we will be doing loads more to use football as a way of discussing men’s mental health, fatherhood and positive masculinity.
Lastly, a massive thank you to the team at Arsenal in the Community for helping to organise and facilitate the event at The Emirates.