AFCCT roll out Changing Room – Extra Time
A life saving mental wellbeing programme which uses the power of football to help support people experiencing poor mental wellbeing has been enhanced by funding from the Scottish Government.
The Changing Room project was launched in 2018 in partnership between SAMH and the SPFL Trust with the 12-week programme helping thousands of football supporters who are struggling with their mental wellbeing.
Now, the Scottish Government has pledged an additional £100,000 to enable Changing Room – Extra Time, which will enable enhancements to the initiative and provide an opportunity for individuals to explore specific areas that often challenge them including how they view themselves, think and feel – all of which impacts on their mental wellbeing.
Aberdeen FC Community Trust, long time champions of mental wellbeing, alongside the charitable trusts of Hearts, Hibs and Rangers, will lead the way with the new extended version of the programme which will be delivered by SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) in partnership with the SPFL Trust.
Aberdeen FC Community Trust chief executive Liz Bowie said:
“We’re absolutely delighted that The Changing Room Extra Time is coming to Pittodrie, because this programme has a track record of success in supporting men to improve their mental health.
“The trust has a really good pedigree of working with people around their mental wellbeing, and Still Standing Free exemplified that. We are really proud of what we do around mental health and we hope Changing Room can be an extension of what we have already managed to do.”
“We are sure that the Red Army will get right behind the project.”
Mental Wellbeing Minister Kevin Stewart, who helped launch the initiative at Pittodrie, home of Aberdeen FC, said:
“Mental wellbeing has never been more important especially as we continue to deal with the ongoing pandemic and I am pleased to see this programme grow and develop.
“Although the focus is on four of our biggest clubs, which are all situated in urban areas, there is significant reach within those clubs across wider Scotland. My message is simple, we shouldn’t be afraid to talk about how we are feeling. This is an excellent way to combine football to improve mental wellbeing.”
Billy Watson, Chief Executive at SAMH said:
“We’re delighted that the Scottish Government is funding The Changing Room – Extra Time, which will provide people with an opportunity to focus on resilience and self-care by exploring areas that often challenge them. It can be a struggle for many of us to talk about how we feel, and football is a really powerful way of bringing them together and encouraging them to open up.
“The Changing Room pilot projects have shown the difference the right support can make. Extra Time is a result of the value of this unique form of support being recognised not only by our pilot partners, but now also the Scottish Government and our new football club partners. Together, we’ve designed this expanded programme to fit the needs of people across the country, and we look forward to starting the next chapter of The Changing Room.”