Chris Mitchell Foundation
The Chris Mitchell Foundation has been set up in memory of former Bradford City player Chris Mitchell, who sadly took his own life as a result of poor mental health.
Chris developed mental health issues, particularly depression and anxiety. Sadly, all the support from his family and friends could not deter him from ending his own life on the 7th May 2016, he was only 27.
In honour of Chris, the Chris Mitchell Foundation was established to raise awareness around mental health and wellbeing for players, ex-players and staff working in the Scottish professional football industry.
Great work is already being done within this industry. Professional football clubs are also recognising the importance of the mental health and wellbeing of their players and staff, and some have already publicly pledged to work with and support a variety of mental health charities.
The Chris Mitchell Foundation aims to build on this, by working collaboratively with these organisations and others, to promote mental health and wellbeing on a national scale. Our three-year strategic plan provides the focus and underpins the groundwork for the inaugural year of the charity and we hope you will join us on our journey to help safeguard the mental health and wellbeing of Scotland’s professional footballers and staff.
Our vision is to dispel the stigma associated with mental health in Scottish professional football and for it to be integrated into physical health and fitness training programmes.
The Chris Mitchell Foundation will bring to the forefront the need for the awareness of mental health and wellbeing within the Scottish professional football industry, by sharing knowledge and skills and improve learning, forging cohesive and sustainable partnerships, connecting and supporting service users and campaigning to raise awareness on a national scale.
Our target is to equip at least two persons in each of the Scottish professional football clubs, with the knowledge and skills to enable them to identify those suffering with the symptoms of poor mental health, through the delivery of a bespoke Mental Health First Aid training course.
At the Chris Mitchell Foundation we support various different fundraising events and activities. The generosity and support we have received to date is overwhelming and we are extremely grateful for everyone’s efforts to raise funds for us.
Free Mental Health First Aid Training Opportunities
Mark Fleming is a director and senior trainer at Positive Mental Health Scotland. Mark Fleming delivers a bespoke NHS Scotland accredited Mental Health First Aid Course specifically for people working within the football industry, focusing on the unique pressures experienced by those involved in football.
Chris developed mental health issues, particularly depression and anxiety. Sadly, all the support from his family and friends could not deter him from ending his own life on the 7th May 2016, he was only 27. Mark is also the Chaplain Support Director of Scottish Football, working across the Scottish Premier League Football (SPFL), Highland Football League, Lowland League Football, Women’s Premier League and associated academies, where his objective is to develop the work of Sports Chaplaincy in Scottish football, a relatively new and ground breaking initiative within the football industry that has been hugely successful. Mark has also been engaged in numerous suicide interventions and helped individuals positively address issues such as depression, anxiety, addictions, grief and unemployment.
The Chris Mitchell Foundation, in partnership with Mark Fleming, is offering football clubs the opportunity to take positive steps towards safeguarding the mental health and wellbeing of their players and staff, by offering a limited number of fully funded places for club representatives from the SPFL, Highland and Lowland Football League, Women’s Premier League and Youth Academies, to attend the NHS Scotland Mental Health First Aid Course. Course attendees will be issued with a certificate of attendance on successful completion, confirming 16 hours of CPD.
For more information about free mental health first aid training, please click here.
For more information about the Chris Mitchell Foundation, please click here.
The role of the PFA Coaching Department is to prepare its members for a secondary career within the professional game, possibly within coaching or management.