The Changing Room: Helping Men Improve Their Mental Health
On October 17th, Big Hearts launched ‘The Changing Room’ at Tynecastle Park, a joint initiative with the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) supported by the Movember Foundation and the SPFL Trust.
‘The Changing Room’ has one goal – to bring men aged 30 to 64 together to meet up, engage in social activities and look after their mental health and wellbeing. The initiative received the support from Heart of Midlothian Captain Christophe Berra, who encouraged Hearts fans to get involved in the project: “Men can benefit from being more aware of their mental health. The Changing Room at Tynecastle Park will provide the right environment for them to come together for a chat and improve their wellbeing.”
The partnership brings together a joint ambition to address the issues around men’s mental health aiming to bring about meaningful social interactions and conversations to ultimately reduce the high rate of male suicide. Men in their middle years remain the most at risk group, being three times more likely than women to die by suicide each year.
Craig Wilson, Big Hearts General Manager said: “We’re delighted to launch this project here at Tynecastle Park to raise awareness and encourage early intervention. It’s about allowing men in their middle years to open up without fear of judgement because we all have mental health and it’s okay to talk about how you feel.”
Robert Nesbitt, SAMH Head of Physical Activity and Sport said: “This programme aims to positively impact the lives of the many men and women who support Hearts and the wider community. At SAMH we know that talking is one of the first steps to better mental health. We want men to start conversations whether it’s in the stadium, in the stands, in online chat rooms, even in the queue for a pie and Bovril. We want to inspire, educate and equip men to invest in their own wellbeing.”
The Changing Room will link men to community resources and deliver direct interventions co-produced with men forming new connections through group activities to improve their mental health.