Footballer David Weatherston and comedian Gary Little have called on people to walk, run and cycle to raise mental health awareness by taking part in Support in Mind Scotland’s 100 Streets Challenge.

The pair, who have both experienced mental health issues in the past, hit the streets of Glasgow to promote the free 100 Streets Challenge as part of Mental Health Awareness Week.

Weatherston, 31, has played for seven professional clubs in Scotland, including Falkirk, Queen of the South and St Johnstone, and has spoken candidly and blogged about how nerves and anxiety blighted his career.

Now living and coaching in Norway, the Paisley-born winger has called for players not to be afraid to seek help when they need it and he hopes more can be done in football to raise mental health awareness and provide support.



A recent mental health study involving PFA Scotland, the SFA and Dr John Maclean at the Hampden Sports Clinic produced responses from 600 players across 42 clubs in the SPFL, with 64 per cent saying they themselves or a team-mate had experienced a mental health issue.

Weatherston says he first suffered nerves and anxiety before a game in 2008. “That was the start of 10 years of this feeling and the start of what was essentially a downward spiral in my career,” he said. “The football dressing room and training ground is a very tough place to be if you have anxiety or depression. There is no place to hide. I think it’s important that if other players feel they need someone to talk to they know they can.”

Weatherston is pleased to be able to show his backing for the work of Support in Mind Scotland, and believes the 100 Streets Challenge – in which people walk, run or cycle their way round 100 streets of their choice - is a good way for people to get out and about in their towns or cities and keep physically active, which in turn can help improve mental wellbeing.

Gary Little, a regular on the UK comedy circuit who has talked about his own experiences living with depression, recently became an Ambassador for Support in Mind Scotland, and he is looking forward to tackling the 100 Streets Challenge himself round the streets of his home city Glasgow.

“The beauty of the challenge is you can do it in your own time and either walk, run or cycle. I’m a keen walker and this is a great way to get active, get some fresh air and get out and about in your community.

“The 100 Streets Challenge helps raise mental health awareness and promote the important work Support in Mind Scotland is carrying out in its services across the country. I am particularly proud to support the campaign during Mental Health Awareness Week.


“I have suffered from depression myself in the past and I know how hard it is to take that first step and talk to someone about what you are dealing with. Thankfully, charities like Support in Mind are doing a lot of work to address stigma and help people seek help if and when they need it.”

Registration for the 100 Streets Challenge is FREE. It is open from now until the 10 October and further details are available at www.100streetschallenge.com or by calling 0131 662 4349. You can also email us at [email protected]

(Pictures by kind permission of John Devlin, The Scotsman)