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Mental Health Football Project Wins Chairman's Award

November 02, 2010 2:09 PM

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A mental health project using football as therapy is the winner of this year’s NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) Chairman’s Award.

Scott Smart, the senior occupational therapist with the Mental Health Partnership who came up with the idea was presented with the prize at NHSGGC’s Annual Review from Nicola Sturgeon, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing,

Scott put together the initial concept and research with the work then being taken forward by a Multi Disciplinary Group leading to the launch of the 'Tackling Recovery' pilot football initiative in partnership with Queen's Park Football Club and the Scottish Football Association.

The scheme ran earlier this year when players from around the world were competing for World Cup glory, and while Scotland failed to qualify, a home-based squad were achieving their own personal goals.

The project was aimed at people suffering from mental health issues and the 12-week football coaching project, based at Lesser Hampden Park, used the sport as therapy for the client group.

Scott who is based with the Mental Health Partnership, North East Inpatients. said: “The project was all about using the sport to reduce stigma, increase physical activity, and encourage confidence and self-esteem.

“Together with our partners we set up professional football coaching sessions, skills development and match play, and at the end of the project we will evaluate the mental and physical well-being changes in the participants.”

Ten of the sessions, each lasting 90 minutes, not only developed playing skills, but also looked at the therapeutic benefits of involvement in football.

And to add to the healthy approach NHSGGC Smokefree Services sponsored the players training kit.

Referrals for the project came from any member of the multi-disciplinary team involved in the support and care of the service user.

The scheme targeted male patients between the ages of 18-35 who were involved in community mental health teams, specialist services or who are inpatients.

One squad member, Kriss, said that taking part in the scheme had motivated him to continue playing sport:

“I’m going to get back into training and fitness with my mates, and it has also helped my mental health.”
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Notes to Editors:
The Chairman's Award recognises the best staff ideas inside NHSGGC which aim to improve services, enhance the working environment or just generally have a positive effect on the organisation, staff or patients. This annual award is supported by Scottish Health Innovations Ltd (SHIL) which works in partnership with NHSScotland to protect and develop new innovations that come from healthcare professionals. SHIL creates new products and technologies to improve patient care and generate financial income for NHSScotland.


For more information contact either NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Communications on 0141 201 4429 or email [email protected]

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