Friends set up football team in bid to tackle mental health stigma

The club hope to enter local leagues and offer support to their players struggling with mental health.

A new football team is taking to the pitch in Moray with the aim of tackling mental health issues.

The Moray Mental Health Football Team was formed by a group of friends who decided to take action after losing loved ones to suicide.

Co-founder Matty Slinger said: “We lost a friend a few years ago to his mental health problems and I would imagine everyone coming along knows someone or has a story of someone that has suffered.

“We thought it might be just us co-founders kicking a ball around but we don’t have enough bibs for how many people have come along. We are delighted.”

Moray Mental Health Football Club aims to tackle the stigma associated with mental health – and the free sessions are open to everyone.

The Club is in its infancy but it’s already setting its sights on taking on other teams, and hopes to enter league games.

The founders say if they help one person, they’ll all be winners. 

Co-founder Steve Simpson added: “People can come and go, they don’t even have to like football, they can help out however they can.

“People just turning up means the world to us.”

Help and support is available now if you need it. The Samaritans can be contacted any time, from any phone, free on 116 123, email at, or visit to find your nearest branch. Details of other services and more information can be found on the NHS website here.

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