Through football we will support the recovery of individuals with lived experience of mental ill-health and tackle stigma associated with mental ill-health
Staying well: Support the recovery of people who have lived experience of mental ill-health through football activities whilst improving their physical and mental wellbeing
Empowering choice: Empower players who have lived experience of experience of mental ill-health to make informed and positive choices about their participation in a team sporting activity
Improving services and support: Ensure clubs and players are signposted to appropriate advice and support as required at the right time to help their recovery
Enabling social participation: Enable all clubs and players to fully participate in league activities thus, increasing awareness of the challenges faced by those with lived experience of mental ill-health and tackling any associated stigma
Organisational excellence: Ensure the board, clubs and players make the most of our assets by building a culture of excellence
Chair - David McPhee
David has been involved in coaching the St. Johnstone Community Trust’s mental wellbeing group since 2010 and their players were instrumental in persuading the Scottish FA to support the establishment of a mental wellbeing league originally under their auspices in 2014. Saints have had 2 teams participate in every league fixture since then and David has been at every one of those fixtures with their teams.
In his ‘day job’ David has worked within Local Government since 1993 and is the Equalities Team Leader for Perth & Kinross Council. As the lead role for equalities within the Council he co-ordinates a number of initiatives and projects within the local community and with staff for those with protected equality characteristics. He was privileged to receive the honour of being admitted to the Show Racism the Red Card Hall of Fame in 2013 at the Scottish Parliament and has also served as a voluntary Equality and Diversity Advisory Board Member for the Scottish FA from 2016-2018. In his spare time David enjoys running, reading, 5-a-side football and attending St. Johnstone fixtures home and away and is a long-standing Tartan Army member having attended his first Scotland game in 1976.
Vice-Chair - George Watson
George has been a coach at Queen’s Park for some 14 years now during which time he has been involved in most areas of the Club including the Youth Academy, Girls & Women’s Football and Community Football.
Having helped initiate the Tackling Recovery Mental Health programme at QP back in 2009, George has since seen steady progress and continued development in Mental Health support around Scotland.
The establishment of the MH League has given everyone a real focus and this has helped improve confidence and self-esteem.
‘We can’t underestimate the power of our game. Football can be a powerful healer. We are privileged to be engaging with lots of people around Scotland who come together regularly to help improve each other’s mental health and wellbeing’.
Independent Member – Alex McClintock
Hi I am Alex McClintock, after experiencing my own mental health struggles and an attempt on my life I discovered ANDYSMANCLUB. Everything about ANDYSMANCLUB resonated with me and it ignited a passion within me to help make a difference particularly in men’s mental health. The power of talking has become a huge part of my life.
For the past 20 years I worked in the Scottish Prison Service and have now left to take up a position working in a mental health crisis hub in Perth. I hope that my experiences and passion can help drive forward the impact of the Scottish Mental Health and Wellbeing Football League across Scotland. I will continue to do what I can to challenge the stigmas in our society to help promote positive mental fitness every day with passion and commitment.
Independent Member – Billy Singh
Billy is a seasoned professional who brings over 25 years’ experience in the charity/sports sector. He has been Campaign Manager for Show Racism the Red Card, was the first General Manager of The Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) Trust and was instrumental in developing walking football across Scotland and establishing Walking Football Scotland as a charity.
He is currently working for GMB Scotland trade union and has recently finished working with Netball Scotland to develop walking netball. He has also worked within the social enterprise sector supporting social entrepreneurs and was a founding tutor of The Social Enterprise Academy.
Member – John McGowan
John has worked in mental health support services since 2003, initially with SAMH supporting individuals in supported accommodation and in their own homes before moving on to work at Caledonia Service which is part of Falkirk’s Health and Social Care Partnership.
In his current role of Senior Project Worker he works with adults living with severe and enduring mental illness and his service offers group activities that aim to improve well-being, increase self-esteem and self-confidence while giving individuals an opportunity to learn new skills or build on existing ones.
John played a pivotal role in integrating the Falkirk Mental Health Services in 2014 to form the Falkirk Users Soccer Experience (FUSE) which currently works in partnership with Stenhousemuir Football Club to provide weekly coaching sessions. He has also been a part of the SFA Mental Health Football League since it’s conception and is keen to help in its continuing development over the coming years.
Treasurer - Jim Cockburn
As a qualified accountant with experience in financial management within the public sector for over 40 years, I was delighted to take up the role as Treasurer for Scottish Mental Health and Wellbeing League.
I have held several roles in different public sector organisations and I am an Independent Examiner for two charities. I am also Treasurer of a local SCIO charity which supports a sustainable environmental, growing project and provides a creative outlet for mental health.
It is fair to say that I have a keen interest in football and though I may be one of the oldest, I still enjoy weekly 5-aside football with work colleagues.
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Current list of member clubs
The Scottish FA is the governing body for Football in Scotland. The Scottish Mental Health and Wellbeing Football League was formed in 2014 with the support of the Scottish FA and it continues to support the League to grow and develop . For more information on the Scottish FA’s Action Plan for Mental Health click the button below.
Scottish Mental Health & Wellbeing League
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