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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-15371: Mark Ruskell (Mid Scotland and Fife)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 16 March 2018

To ask the Scottish Government what engagement it has had with the (a) SFA, (b) Scottish Professional Football League, (c) PFA Scotland and (d) Scottish Junior Football Association regarding the mental health and wellbeing support available that is offered to footballers, and what its position is on the effectiveness of this support.

Answered by: Aileen Campbell 16 April 2018

I am aware of the mental health challenges footballers can face, and the Scottish Government engages with the Scottish FA, SPFL, PFA Scotland and the Scottish Junior Football Association on this and a wide variety of issues.

A range of support is available through the organisations the member highlights, as well as others like Support in Sport and the Sports Chaplaincy Network. I know all these organisations take this issue – and the duty of care they have for players – extremely seriously.

Free mental health first aid training has been made available through the SPFL Trust to all SPFL clubs and this offers support to anyone in football, including players.

Other organisations in football are helping to raise awareness of the issue within football and the wider population, including the Chris Mitchell Foundation, the Kris Boyd Charity and the pilot Changing Room project being undertaken in partnership between Hibernian FC, the Scottish Association for Mental Health and the SPFL Trust.

The Scottish Government will continue to work with stakeholders in football to strengthen our joint work on mental health.