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Monday 24 Jun 2019
June's Fan of the Month is on a mission to help men open up about their mental health

Northern Ireland fanatic Marty Chappell wants to tackle the stigma of young men being open about their mental health. 

Marty has won June's Fan of the Month after telling his 'GAWA Stories' this week which included his efforts in helping young men, especially within football, to open up. He wants men to talk about their problems and forget the 'machoness' that can prevent them from having positive mental health. 

He told us: "I've been in changing rooms as a young man and you feel like you can't show any weakness but I feel like we are starting to turn a corner. 

"Young people have so much pressure on them. Maybe their friends have got good exam results and they haven't done well. That's a lot of pressure for them and it can feel like they aren't succeeding in life which is just totally wrong."

Marty has lost friends to suicide and wants men to know there's always someone to talk to: "Even before a match, if you're having a bad week just tell your friend and believe me you will feel a weight lifted off your shoulders." 

His mental health podcast 'Mind Your Bap' is run alongside friends Robbie and Sarah and can be found on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. 

Part of Marty's positive mental health plan includes running an event called 'Love Lisburn Live', headlined by local act 'Pretty Cartel'. The fun day concert is open to the public in Market Square, Lisburn on June 29th from 12-7pm. 

Marty revealed how the event will be raising funds for local mental health charity Emerge: "I want to help Emerge as they are completely funded by themselves and are doing great work in helping mental health.

"Everyone is welcome and also can I give a big thank you to Lisburn and Castlereagh Council for backing the event. If you are struggling with your own mental health you can contact Emerge at"

You can watch Marty's GAWA Stories in the video at the top of the page.  

If you are involved with a football club and would like to learn how to provide support with mental health issues you can book onto a course on the Irish FA Foundation's 'Ahead of the Game' mental health awareness project. Please contact our Club and Community Development Officer Gavin Nelson at: