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Information and Support

Below are some self-help guides to give you information on symptoms and signs of a number of mental health and wellbeing issues as well as tips on how to cope and get the help and support you need.


  • Depression can affect anyone of any age and at any time.
  • Depression can happen suddenly as a result of injury, bereavement, family issues, employment issues or other life changing events
  • It is often difficult to recognise depression and know what to do about it
  • Depression shows up in many different ways. You don’t always realise what’s going on because your problems seem to be physical and not mental
  • Most people recover from depression, the earlier they seek help, the better the chances of a speedy recovery


  • Persistent sadness or low mood
  • Loss of interest or pleasure
  • Fatigue or low energy


  • Waking up early or having difficulty sleeping
  • Poor or increased appetite
  • Difficulty remembering things, poor concentration or indecisiveness
  • Blaming yourself or feeling guilty about things
  • Feeling low spirited for most of the time, every day
  • Lacking self-confidence and self-esteem
  • Being pre-occupied with negative thoughts
  • Self-harm or thoughts of suicide

Don’t try to manage depression on your own-talk to someone you trust such as your team doctor or contact the SUPPORT helpline.

There are 2 main approaches to treating depression-medical using anti-depressants and non-medical using talking therapies. Your Club Doctor or SUPPORT staff can help discuss the best options for you.


Gambling problems are often experienced as being completely outside a person’s control.

The impact of gambling can be more than losing money. You can become isolated, lose interest in maintaining relationships and lack motivation to engage in social activities.


  • Changing your behaviour: find out how you can manage the urge to gamble and make changes to break out of old patterns and routine
  • Self-exclusion: Find out how you can bar yourself from betting shops, casinos and online gambling companies
  • Blocking software: Find out how you can set up your computer or phone to stop you accessing gambling websites and/or apps
  • Managing your finances and debts: find out how you can get out of debt and organise your finances

PFA Scotland has a partnership with the RCA Trust to provide confidential one-to-one counselling service for players struggling with a gambling addiction.

You can contact Andy Todd on 0141 887 0880 or speak to one of the SUPPORT Team.


  • Alcohol can become an addiction.
  • It can be easy to find yourself having a glass of wine or bottle of beer every night, but this level can have a detrimental effect
    your health
  • Alcohol dependence can run in families
  • Stressful events such as bereavement, injury or contract worries can trigger heavy drinking which can lead to dependence


  • Keep track of what you are drinking: keep a diary and check against the recommended intake guidelines
  • Try ti have alcohol free days: try to give yourself and your body a rest from alcohol
  • Talk to someone: speak to your Club Doctor, own GP or the SUPPORT helpline for confidential help

Stress and Anxiety

  • Some stress is good for you.  It provides the fight or flight mechanism that makes you run, score goals or react to stop them
  • Stress can lead to more serious problems such as anxiety or depression


  • Take a regular break: give yourself a break whenever you feel things getting on top of you
  • Learn to relax: follow a simple routine to relax your muscles and slow your breathing
  • Sort out your worries: There is no point worrying about things you can’t change
  • Improve your lifestyle: Find time to eat properly, reduce alcohol intake and get enough sleep
  • Confide in someone: Don’t keep emotions bottled up, and focus on the positive aspects in your life


  • Anxiety makes you think that something bad is going to happen
  • Feelings of fear and anxiety can last for a short time, and then pass. But they can also last for much longer and you can get stuck with them
  • Anxiety affects your ability to eat, sleep, concentrate ir enjoy life. It can affect your performance on the pitch
  • Talking therapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) are very effective for people with anxiety issues. If you do not wish to talk face-to-face, there are online packages which we can recommend.
  • Improve your lifestyle: Find time to eat properly, reduce alcohol intake and get plenty sleep.
  • Confide in someone: Don’t keep things bottled up, and focus on the positive things in your life


  • Anger is a natural response to feeling attacked, injured or violated-not just physically, but mentally and emotionally
  • In itself, anger is not good or bad, but when it gets out of control it can be frightening
  • Angry feelings can lead to destructive and violent behaviour
  • Suppressed anger can also have negative effects


  • Assertiveness training: this can help you to control your anger and channel it more positively
  • Look after yourself: Exercise increases self-esteem, so keep training
  • Reduce alcohol intake: Too much alcohol can lead to a loss of control
  • Confide in someone: Don’t keep emotions bottled up, find someone to talk to about your feelings

Eating Disorders

  • Anyone can develop an eating disorder, regardless of their age, sex or cultural background
  • A whole range of factors can contribute to it’s development such as genetic, psychological, environmental, social and biological influences
  • The sooner you get treatment, the more likely you are to make a full recovery

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