Minister visits Falkirk district mental health football programme

Scottish Governmnent minister Claire Haughey braved the rain and wind to see first-hand how a team of people in Falkirk are using football to boost their mental health.

By Kirsty Paterson
Monday, 9th March 2020, 2:00 pm

The minster for mental health was at Stenhousemuir Football Club to see how its Warriors in the Community scheme is providing coaching to members of FUSE – the Falkirk Users Soccer Experience – a mental health football team.

The group, which meets every Friday, brings together the expertise of mental health professionals and the coaching skills of Warriors in the Community.

John McGowan, senior project worker with Caledonian Service, said: “The aim of the project is for football to help in people’s recovery as it can help to manage symptoms and can radically improve the quality of people’s lives. Without exception, our current group members have reported significant improvement in their physical and mental health whilst attending the group.

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“Football as a whole is also very successful in engaging young adults who wouldn’t attend a ‘typical’ mental health service due to the stigma attached and their preconceived perceptions.”

The minister praised the partnership’s work and the genuine commitment shown.

Ms Haughey said: “From watching the session in action and speaking to some of the participants, there is no doubt they benefit enormously from the programme. The camaraderie and joy was evident and the results that have been achieved are impressive.”

The football group – which is not just open to men – is part of Falkirk Users Soccer Experience (F.U.S.E) , working in partnership with Woodlands Resource Centre and Bellsdyke Hospital.

Clare Haughey, Minister for Mental Health visiting Warriors in the community mental health programme.

It is part of the Scottish Football Association’s Mental Health and Wellbeing League which takes place at different venues throughout Scotland.