Thorn Athletic are wanting this week to be on the head, as they show support for Mental Health Awareness. 

The amateur club have been involved in lots of different initiatives to help in the community over the last year but this week players from the adult side have shown support for Breathing Space

The government-funded organisation has been helping people since 2002 by providing various methods of support who feel that life is getting too much for them. 

Chairperson of the Johnstone-based club, Mark McGee believed that mental health is going to be even more important in the future. 

He said: "Mental health is massive at this moment in time, particularly in football, and we have seen loads of different initiatives to try and tackle it. We support any of these things that address that, whether it's for teenagers or for adults and I think it is going to become even more prevalent.

"We have always been keen to promote Breathing Space. We have done a number of things over the last few years in partnership with them too. Tony McLaren, from the organisation, came out and delivered a team-talk to a group of our adult team and distributed some literature.

"Dressing rooms can be pretty harsh places for people at times and in the early days we recognised that it’s important that we provide some support for them. Having literature for our players and staff is important, we have it at our sports academy and on occasion we leave support cards and booklets for people to pick up, when they are at the facility."

Coaches at the club are all required to complete SFA mental health e-learning courses. 

McGee added: "It’s all in place to raise awareness within the club that these resources are there for them, if they feel they need to turn to someone. There is support there.

"We aren’t professionals in that field but signposting is a big part of what we can do, especially at this time. If we can point someone in the right direction, if they are feeling a wee bit low, they are struggling without football or if there are any other challenges going on in their life at the present time."

Amateur clubs like Thorn Athletic have become an important part of their communities over the last year, and McGee claimed it has been an awakening for the club. 

He admitted: "The community is massive and it has been a real eye-opener for us, for just how much we can do, other than providing football teams and games for people.

"So we want to engage with the community and show that there is support there, provide different activities that can keep them amused, whilst they’ve not been able to go about their normal lives.

"We realised we had to harness our resources, including 50 or 60 coaches. We used them in other ways, delivering the food boxes and the kick-back campaign and a digital campaign for kids. We gave out some football markers and to follow up we had a digital campaign to provide a new drill each day for a week."