Donations to Mind treble after news emerges of footballer's mental health problems

Everton and England footballer Aaron Lennon was detained on Sunday under the Mental Health Act; fellow footballer Andy Johnson has led the way in raising money since then

Andy Johnson's tweet
Andy Johnson's tweet

Donations to the mental health charity Mind trebled yesterday upon the news that an English international footballer had been detained under the Mental Health Act.

Aaron Lennon, who plays for Everton and was once on the books of Tottenham Hotspur and Leeds United, has attracted widespread support on social media, particularly from fellow players, after he was taken to hospital in Manchester on Sunday.

After the news about Lennon emerged, Mind said, it received three times more online and text donations yesterday than on an average day.

The former England footballer Andy Johnson, who works as an ambassador for the Premier League side Crystal Palace, has also pledged to donate 10p to Mind in Lennon’s name for every time a Twitter message announcing the donation is retweeted.

At midday today, approximately 111,000 people had retweeted the message, meaning more than £11,000 will be donated to the charity by Johnson, who has also been encouraging others to make donations to Mind.

Mind’s official Twitter account tweeted a thank you to Johnson for the amount he had agreed to donate.

Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind, said: "We hope that Aaron is getting the help and support he needs and wish him all the best. It’s important that he is given space at this time and that he is treated with dignity and respect. 

"One in four people will experience a mental health problem each year. Mental health can affect people from all walks of life. It does not discriminate based on bank balance or profession.

"We have seen a tremendous response from the footballing community and fans on social media, an encouraging sign that people are coming together to tackle mental health stigma.

"We are very grateful to the former professional footballer Andy Johnson, who has started a fundraising campaign for Mind, and to everybody who has generously donated. Yesterday we received three times the number of online and text donations as we would on an average day. The money will help Mind to continue its work providing vital support to people with mental health problems."

A statement from Greater Manchester Police said that a 30-year-old man had been taken to hospital for assessment.

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