As a football player we are very used to helping out a teammate if something goes wrong. We recover possession. We make a last gasp tackle. We make a goal line clearance. We do anything to help our team mate – ‘to get his or her back’.

We can also be a good teammate by getting our teammate’s back off the pitch. Following awareness raised by World Mental Health Day on 10th October we can perhaps consider how we can offer support to a friend who just might be feeling down or depressed.

Simply asking, ‘How are you doing?’ or mentioning that you have noticed changes in your friends moods or personality can be the trigger for someone to admit to themselves that they need some help.

We shouldn’t make judgement and we shouldn’t try to provide a cure BUT we can perhaps signpost our friend towards expert help that will help any developing situation. Further information is available on who a friend might contact on the SFA website or perhaps you could mention your concern to a teacher at school.

Be a good teammate off the park as well as on it.