Mental Health Day by Dan Smith
Having wrote for JustArsenal for years I can testify those who run it have a zero tolerance towards abuse.
Where other companies upload content and are happy to make some money, I know for a fact our admin wakes up and spends his morning going through the comments, having to unfortunately pick out language and conversations that are not appropriate.
Yet, JustArsenal has grown to a point where it’s unrealistic to moderate every word, and there are rules regarding how to comment.
Unfortunately, by the time action has been taken, the intended target has read what was sent. While the text can be deleted the hurt can last.
Even when the majority stand up to the sender and correctly question their behaviour the pain remains.
None of this is exclusive to one site.
Suicide due to online bullying is on the rise, as in depression in young people.
There remains an issue in the UK of grown adults thinking in the confines of a football match they can act how they want.
A grown man is currently on bail for attempting to head butt Roy Keane, another has admitted guilt to using a child’s death due to Cancer to ‘banter opposing fans. Men with families and serious jobs.
Small fines, sentences, stadium bans will be handed out. The scars don’t fade.
In my experiences of the Emirates, I have heard chants mocking race, speech impediments, sexual orientation, rape, etc.
I wonder how many who sing those songs truly go home and consider how they are making essentially a stranger feel?
It’s why I respected Xhaka for refusing to apologise for his stance, detailing the nature of abuse he was facing daily.
This though isn’t me trying to sigle out anyone, only your conscious knows if you have ever crossed a line, and it’s not my job to be your moral compass.
Tuesday 10th October is Mental Health Day in Britain, and it would be amiss of me to not use this platform not to spread awareness.
When you read how most organisations would like individuals to mark the day it’s simply to ask someone ‘are they okay’, to send a message, or even just an image to let them know you are thinking of them.
Readers will have people a lot more important in their lives than me who preach right and wrong, so I’m not expecting to change a culture.
I can only ask you to step back and review what you write before you press send.
The dangers of having the ability to send a point of view around the world within seconds means less care is taken. With great power comes great responsibility!
Have you strayed away from the topic?
Are you even debating football or attacking a person?
Has it got the point that you’re not even discussing the original subject anymore?
For what gain?
To get the last word?
To feel you won a trivial difference of opinion.
Because you can’t hear anything negative said about your football team does that warrant spite and being nasty?
Football is meant to be a disagreement you can have with each other …… it shouldn’t go beyond that.
Arsenal work with charities to encourage people to say how they feel, they wouldn’t want people being bullied just to stick up for them.
Because you don’t know what is going on behind the walls of someone’s house.
A smile could simply be a mask.
How someone presents themselves is an act they have learnt over time.
On JustArsenal we mostly communicate behind a phone or a laptop. We have zero idea who we truly are conversing with and what their life looks like.
What would you say if your comments were the trigger to stop someone going to work, a reason to stay in bed, a reason to self-harm, or worse?
Because it does happen ….
I have spoken to people so ill that their mind plays tricks on them, so a bus driver being rude to them makes a difference. Alternatively, a stranger smiling and being polite could save that person’s life.
Think of a packed city centre. As you walk through it, the stats say many are struggling. They just disguise it well. In reality their brains are very poorly.
The internet is no different. How we treat one another honestly could make such an impact on a person’s day.
I read some of the things people say and straight away it’s deeper than sport.
You have to be in a dark space to feel the need to use a football blog site as an arena to share anger and try and suppress people? For that to be your social scene, your way of getting attention.
Most bullies themselves need help.
The irony is this website should be an escape for people and I know, especially during COVID, many saw my writing as comfort. There couldn’t be a bigger compliment.
Yet on this day, this day of all days can I beg you all, even my harshest critics, talk to anyone if you ever feel low. Even if it’s me, I’m happy for admin to give you my email address.
Most of all and I pray we all live for this ……….
Let’s all try and be kind to one another.
MORE INFO IF NEEDED…
Young Minds is a mental health charity for children, young people and their parents making sure all young people can get the mental health support they need. You can call their Parents Helpline on 0808 802 5544, Monday-Friday 9:30am – 4:00pm
Mind provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. Mind campaigns to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding. You can call their Infoline on 0300 123 3393, Monday-Friday 9:00-6:00pm.
Samaritans is a charity dedicated to reducing feelings of isolation and disconnection that can lead to suicide. You can call their 24-hour helpline on 116 123.
Shout is a 24/7 text messaging support service for anyone who is struggling to cope. Text 85258.
Childline is a counselling service provided by the NSPCC for children and young people. You can call their 24-hour helpline on 0800 1111.
The Mix is a charity that provides free, confidential support for young people under 25 via online, social and mobile services. You can call their helpline on 0808 808 4994.