Football, the international language of men, is to be used to get Scots fans talking about their mental health.

The Changing Room project will play a crucial role in turning around terrifying rates of mental ill health amongst Scottish men, who are two and half times more likely than women to kill themselves each year.

The Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) is working with The Scottish Professional Football League Trust (SPFL Trust) and Hibernian Football Club on the two-year pilot project aimed at getting men to open up about their feelings.

Men in their 40s and early 50s are most at risk of suicide, so the plan is to create both offline and online places where they can talk about their mental health.

During the development stage of the project, SAMH distributed a survey to football fans all across Scotland which asked questions about their involvement with football and the conversations they have.

Over 3,400 responded and a recurring message from the survey and focus group findings suggested that a range of activities (physical, educational and online) would help support and sustain engagement, educate men about mental health as well as enhancing their capacity to better self-manage it, and importantly help each other.


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