They’re also trying to end the stigma around it.
The long-awaited return of a Scottish league set up to support people suffering from mental health problems and tackle the stigma associated with mental illness has been welcomed.
The Scottish Mental Health and Wellbeing League has not staged fixtures since February 2020, shortly before the coronavirus pandemic brought football to a standstill.
However, after what chair David McPhee described as a “difficult” period of absence, the competition will get under way again at the end of the month, initially played in two regional divisions for three months before hopefully returning to a full national league early next year.
The first fixture for the six-team west regional league will be played at Petershill in Glasgow on August 31, while Broadwood at Cumbernauld will host the first match in the seven-team central and east regional league.
McPhee told the PA News agency: “We are raring to go later this month.
“We decided to start with two smaller regional leagues in term of containing the numbers of people who would be in attendance on a match day and reduce the travelling for teams initially.
“Most clubs have started coaching again and there have been some friendly fixtures.
“It has been difficult. We all tried to keep in touch with our players obviously in different ways.
“We have given them skills to do at home to keep them active.
“But everybody is desperate to get back. Getting them involved with their peers again will be really positive.
“As coaches and as a committee, that is always want we have been striving to do. We didn’t want people to think we were going to fold, we have been encouraged by the teams’ coaches and staff who have come along to the AGM’s and committee meetings.
“We have two new teams, Greenock Morton joining the central/west region and Street Soccer from Edinburgh joining the central/east region.”