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Former Footballer sets up app for UoP students

WHATSUP YOU'RE NOT ALONE POSTERA new app has been set up by former professional footballer and University of Portsmouth student, Vincent Pericard, to help students with their mental health.

The app, known as ‘WhatsUp?’, has been described as a wellbeing phone app offering 24/7 safeguarding and emotional support.

Set up in January 2014, the app was originally targeted at professional football clubs and their elite athletes, but has now been adopted by the University of Portsmouth in a move to provide a more student-centred approach with a focus on pro-active and preventative mental health and wellbeing strategies.

During his playing career Pericard turned out for Juventus, Portsmouth and Stoke City, before suffering depression and anxiety and eventually being forced to retire at the age of 29.

Pericard ended his career at Havant and Waterlooville in 2012, before enrolling at the University of Portsmouth on a Business Enterprise Development course in 2014.

Following his retirement from the game, Pericard realised that the stigma surrounding mental health issues, lack of education about mental health and the lack of access to advice and other services were the cause of his retirement and unfulfilled potential.

This realisation led him to create ‘WhatsUp?’ in partnership with businessman Jason Oliver.

Of the app, Pericard says: “’WhatsUp?’ aims to make it easier for students to access help and advice from the various support services available at the University of Portsmouth.

“Students do not have to physically walk in to wellbeing centres anymore; they can just access help and advice from the comfort of their bed.

“This app can remove the fear of judgement or discrimination as all entries are anonymous.

“’WhatsUp?’ provides secure, confidential and non-judgemental support, whenever and wherever students need it.”

The app includes several features including: Rate your mood, personal journal and Raise a concern. It also includes a list of wellbeing contacts for students at the University.

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