Scottish FA launches bespoke mental health course for coaches

By Scott MullenBBC Sport Scotland
Charlie Adam
Former Scotland midfielder Charlie Adam says the course will be a 'great benefit' to aspiring coaches

The Scottish FA has become the first home nation body to create its own mental health course for coaches within the game.

An estimated 10,000 people are expected to take the online module - created by the Hampden Sports Clinic and charity Breathing Space - each year.

Launched during Mental Health Awareness Week as a voluntary option, the course will become mandatory in January 2021.

The SFA say mental health issues affect 25% of adults in Scotland each year.

"[The course] will give coaches a head start on issues they may well need to face in their managerial career," said former Scotland midfielder Charlie Adam, who is currently taking his A Licence.

"As a coach you will find yourself in a lonely places at times, in terms of setting up sessions and being frustrated about how results are going.

"Or you might not be in a job, which could have a negative effect on your mental health. These are the moments that will happen to all coaches at some point along their journey so it is important to recognise that.

"Hopefully this is the start of mental health being educated to coaches as it is something that will be of great benefit to them."

The module, which is also available to volunteer and administrators, is the latest Scottish FA initiative to help and raise awareness to those living with mental health issues after support was given to the Heads Up campaign earlier this year.

All kick-off times in the Scottish Cup fifth round were delayed by one minute to encourage players, staff and supporters alike to engage in conversation around mental health.

Later this year, the Mental Health Action Plan will be launched across Scotland.

"The main aim of this module is to equip people with the tools and techniques to effectively support their players and fellow coaches," Dr Katy Stewart from Hampden Sports Clinic said.

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