Children’s charity Kibble is supporting players and staff at St Mirren Football Club in an effort to end the stigma around mental health in sport.
The organisation’s team of psychologists is offering confidential telephone support as well as online one-to-one sessions for those at the Paisley club struggling with their mental wellbeing.
Kibble, which provides opportunities for young people facing adversity – including a visit to The Big Issue office in partnership with the Social Enterprise Academy earlier this year – hopes the scheme can be expanded out to professional footballers across the country to support them during the Covid-19 crisis and beyond.
The charity’s chief executive, Jim Gillespie, also heads up St Mirren as director. He said: “Our number one priority throughout this pandemic has been to protect and support our staff as best we can, but it’s important to extend that support, where possible, to the players that need it.
“Our team of psychologists are hugely experienced, and we have recently seen the benefit of providing such a service when we offered residential care workers throughout the sector a Safe Space to Talk. With the additional stresses we have all faced as a result of the pandemic, it is more important than ever that we emphasise the value of taking the time to talk. It’s the ambition of the club to have a successful season and supporting players and St Mirren through mental health wellbeing will go a long way to achieving that.”
The new initiative follows the successful launch of the Safe Space to Talk project, a support line introduced for Kibble staff to access the help they need. The service was also opened up to residential workers across the country who are busy supporting vulnerable people during the pandemic.