New film released highlights lasting legacy of former Falkirk player Chris Mitchell
The Chris Mitchell Foundation and SPFL Trust have this week released a film highlighting the impact of the former Falkirk player’s death – and his remarkable legacy.
The launch coincides with the news that all 42 SPFL clubs have enrolled staff in Mental Health First Aid Training (MHFAT) which is delivered by the SPFL Trust in partnership with the Chris Mitchell Foundation.
On average five members of staff from each SPFL club, such as community and academy coaches, pastoral staff, and even football managers, have completed the course.
In total, over 600 people have taken part in MHFAT with delegates attending from across football in Scotland at all levels from the men’s and women’s game.
Chris died by suicide in May 2016, after a period of depression that followed the end of his career through injury.
As well as Falkirk he also represented Bradford City, Queen of the South and Clyde.
He memorably scored the winning goal for the Bairns against European giants Ajax in an international challenge match.
The Chris Mitchell Foundation was set-up by Chris’ dad and sister Laura following his death.
The film, which is titled ‘Mitch: What happened next?’, is a sequel to ‘Mitch’ from February 2018 which featured six of Chris’ friends discussing his tragic passing and sharing their memories of him.
This new film picks up the story and explains the impact Chris’ legacy has had on Scottish football through Mental Health First Aid Training.
It features Chris’ dad Philip and his friend, former Falkirk and current Rangers star Scott Arfield.
Philip Mitchell commented: “We miss Christopher every day and set up the foundation in his memory.
"We want to prevent other families from having to go through the pain that we've been through in recent years.
“The Mental Health First Aid Training programme has been an enormous success, with over 600 people trained at all levels in the SPFL, Women’s football, and the grassroots game.
“I want to thank the people that have taken part. You’re helping Scottish football to have a conversation that is desperately needed. It is people like you who give us hope. Things are changing in the conversation around mental health, and there is no going back.”
Adding to that, former teammate and friend Scott Arfield said: "I see it in the changing rooms now, people talk, people are far more open, there's no doubt what happened to Chris has changed things massively.
“Chris was my best friend, he is sorely missed by all of us, every day. But, he will always be remembered.
"He was so popular and a pleasure to be around.
"It’s not easy to think about the circumstances around his tragic passing but I am hopeful that our charity work underlines the importance of mental health awareness and training to break the stigma.
“No matter who you are, or the circumstances you face, please don’t give up and speak to people around you for support.”
The film can be viewed HERE.