Falkirk football and charity chiefs join forces to sign up to mental health charter

Falkirk football chiefs and charity bosses have joined forces to promote mental wellbeing.

Monday, 11th October 2021, 1:05 pm
Updated Monday, 11th October 2021, 1:05 pm
Jamie Swinney, left, and Derek Allison, right, declaring their support for the charter at the Falkirk Stadium on Sunday, accompanied by Robert Nesbitt (Photo: Ian Sneddon)

To mark World Mental Health Day, held on Sunday, the Falkirk Foundation and Falkirk Football Club staged a joint signing of the Scottish Association for Mental Health’s charter for physical activity and sport.

That charter includes an action plan setting out how to address issues relating to mental wellbeing and try to banish any stigma surrounding mental health issues, as well as championing the positive impact that physical activity and sport can have on mental wellbeing.

Foundation chief executive officer Derek Allison said: “At Falkirk Foundation, we aim to embed good mental wellbeing at the very heart of our charity.

“We engage with around 1,100 people across the Falkirk and Forth Valley area each week and we wanted to ensure that, across our programmes, we have the right structures in place to tackle poor mental wellbeing.

“We are committed to improving equality, reducing discrimination and ensuring mental health is not a barrier to those that engage and participate.

“It is great that the club are also committing to the charter, and together we will work closely to ensure we deliver on our plans to improve the mental wellbeing of all.”

Club chief executive Jamie Swinney said: “Falkirk Football Club are proud to have served their community since 1876. The club wish to use their unique position within the community to play their part in raising awareness about mental health and supporting people through challenges they may face.

“We will use the power of football and the Falkirk brand to promote positive mental health and work with the Falkirk Foundation to help create a positive legacy for our supporters and our town.”

Robert Nesbitt, head of physical activity and sport at the association, added: “We’re delighted to see both the Falkirk Foundation and Falkirk Football Club signing up.

“We look forward to working with them both to help break down the barriers to sport and physical activity for people with mental health problems.”

Scottish Government sports minister Maree Todd, MSP for Caithness, Sutherland and Ross, said: “Being active isn’t just good for our physical health, it’s also proven to have a positive effect on our mental health and wellbeing, yet we know that people experiencing a mental health problem can find it difficult to participate in physical activity and sport.

“To coincide with World Mental Health Day, I am pleased that Falkirk Foundation and Falkirk Football Club have signed up to the SAMH mental health charter for physical activity and sport to support people in their community to enjoy physical, mental and social health.”