Football mental health project receives extra £100,000 in funding
A mental health project using football to bring men together has received an extra £100,000 in funding.
The Changing Room aims to improve mental wellbeing among men aged 30 to 64 through the power of football.
Participants can chat about their team with other fans and take part in various events in the 12-week programme.
The new funding from the Scottish Government will go towards an initiative called Extra Time, delivered by the charity SAMH, which will allow men to explore how they view themselves.
The Changing Room began at Hibernian FC’s Easter Road stadium in 2018 before spreading to Hearts and other clubs around Scotland.
Mental Wellbeing Minister Kevin Stewart said: “Mental wellbeing has never been more important, especially as we continue to deal with the ongoing pandemic, and I am pleased to see this programme grow and develop.
“Although the focus is on four of our biggest clubs, which are all situated in urban areas, there is significant reach within those clubs across wider Scotland.
“My message is simple: we shouldn’t be afraid to talk about how we are feeling.
“This is an excellent way to combine football to improve mental wellbeing.”
Billy Watson (pictured), chief executive at SAMH, said: “We’re delighted that the Scottish Government is funding The Changing Room – Extra Time, which will provide people with an opportunity to focus on resilience and self-care by exploring areas that often challenge them.
“It can be a struggle for many of us to talk about how we feel, and football is a really powerful way of bringing them together and encouraging them to open up.
“The Changing Room pilot projects have shown the difference the right support can make.”
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