Scottish Football Association ‘Support Within Sport’ Mental Health Programme

As part of the William Hill Foundation’s commitment to improving mental wellbeing in the communities in which we are based, the Foundation is partnered with the Scottish Football Association (SFA) to help deliver a ‘Support Within Sport’ initiative.

‘Support Within Sport’ offers a confidential helpline and follow-up specialist treatment to those in the game - players, coaches and referees – who may be suffering from mental health issues. 

Since launched in 2016, over 200 people, including players and coaches, have made contact with the service, with those who do undergo specialist treatment displaying a significant reduction in symptoms of anxiety and depression after 6 months.

The Foundation also worked with the SFA in 2019 to run a ‘Mental Health and Wellbeing League’ for men and women across Scotland. This gives those who may be struggling with mental health issues the opportunity to take part in physical exercise on a regular basis. 11 clubs from across Scotland took part in 2019, with 200 different players participating throughout the year. The League was featured and promoted at Hampden Park during the Scottish Cup Final.

A grant from the William Hill Foundation is also supporting research carried out by Glasgow University to examine the incidence of dementia in football. To complement the study, the project will also provide reminiscence therapy to patients with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, as well as providing some respite for carers.