The Changing Room

Scottish Association for Mental Health

Monday, October 29, 2018

Key Fact: Over a third of people in Scotland do not meet physical activity recommendations.

Being active is one of the proven ways we can improve our own mental health. We know that people experiencing mental ill-health are less likely to take part in physical activity and sport; and are also more likely to have physical health problems. At SAMH, we seek to promote the benefits of being active to improve and maintain both our physical and mental health.

We are thrilled to have teamed up with The Movember Foundation, SPFL Trust and Big Hearts Community Trust to launch a joint initiative committed to helping football fans, and the wider community live happier, healthier and longer lives.

‘The Changing Room’ has one goal – to bring men aged 30 to 64 together to take action on their mental health and wellbeing using the power of the beautiful game.

Too many men in their middle years struggle to talk about their feelings, their mental health and how to ask for help. 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. 

Working alongside Scottish Football Clubs, such as Hearts F.C. and Hibernian FC, using the power of football we will bring men together in spaces that they associate with trust, and where they feel they belong. We launched our first Changing Room with Hibernian FC in the spring. We are delighted to announce that our second programme has just begun with Hearts F.C. and will meet at Tynecastle stadium once a week for 12 weeks this winter to start positive conversations about mental health.

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. 

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.

For more information contact