Raith Rovers legend Ellis speaks about mental health in new SPFL film
A Raith Rovers legend features in a new film showing the impact of the death of footballer Chris Mitchell - and his remarkable legacy.
Released by the Chris Mitchell Foundation and the SPFL Trust, ‘Mitch: What Happened Next?’, a sequel to ‘Mitch’ from
February 2018, explains the impact Mitchell’s legacy has had on Scottish football through Mental Health First Aid Training.
It features his dad Philip, his friend Rangers player Scott Arfield, and three different mental health training participants, one of whom is former Raith Rovers star, Laurie Ellis.
Mitchell died by suicide in May 2016, after a period of depression that followed the end of his career after injury.
Ellis says the mental health training stressed the importance of both physical and mental health.
He said: "I've always had an interest in mental health and players' welfare and wellbeing in particular.
"Players are often viewed differently but like everyone, they all need support at times.
"The course highlighted that along with our physical health, we all have mental health too and need to look after it carefully.
"Both are as important as each other.”
Ellis said that he has found coaches and managers to be far more aware of the importance of mental health than when he first started in football.
"Players are also becoming more and more aware that it is good and acceptable to discuss their mental health.
"Coaching staff make a huge effort to be available and approachable to help all players at different times.
"There are so many more avenues for criticism towards professional players in today's game and therefore the wellbeing of players and their mental health needs adequate support.
He added: "The course was eye-opening in many regards and showed me that mental health touches everyone throughout their lives.
"I’m sure we are all more aware of the need to help each other, and I hope in the coming months and years everyone continues to increase their awareness and attention towards mental health."
The film is available to watch on the SPFL Trust YouTube page.