Dons fans increase use of free app as COVID-related mental health issues emerge
Aberdeen Football Club and its health and wellbeing partner, Health Shield, have seen an increase in the number of fans actively using its free mental health app since it was rolled out in June this year.
Almost 33% of active users are suffering from depression with 30% of those classed as moderately to severely depressed. Anxiety has also increased with 38% suffering from moderate to severe anxiety.
The causes of their depression and anxiety stem from work, fear of going outside and relationships. On the flip side, their work, health, being able to get out and about, family and relationships have been identified as positives in helping them cope.
Around 8% of users have sought further help in dealing with mental health challenges and 6% of those suffering from anxiety report they have recovered, while 5% of those feeling depressed have also now recovered.
Rob Wicks, AFC’s Commercial Director, said: “It’s really concerning that an increasing number of people are suffering from mental health issues. We’re therefore pleased to be able to offer support to our fans through this app, which is proving to be a valuable tool to those who need it or to those who want to support family, friends or colleagues.
“With World Mental Health Awareness Day just round the corner, and reports suggesting that one in four people will suffer mental health problems as a direct result of COVID-19, the Club has been speaking up about this serious issue this week. AFC and the Trust, along with our health and wellbeing partner, Health Shield, are committed to tackling this issue head on and playing a role in supporting our fans.”
AFC was the first professional football club in Scotland to offer fans access to the innovative health app which provides support and guidance on mental health. Users can assess, manage and improve their mental wellbeing with a range of mindfulness tips, tools and techniques. The NHS-approved app, Thrive, is available to all Dons’ fans and usage has increased as people seek proactive help and preventative advice in relation to their mental health.
Health Shield, which is committed to helping people lead healthier, happier and more productive lives, has seen a number of organisations access the app, including a men’s mental health support group and workers on the NHS frontline.
Courtney Marsh, CEO at Health Shield, said: “The pandemic is taking its toll on body and mind and, unfortunately, worse is probably yet to come as furloughing ends and redundancies increase. Not only that, but mass working from home is creating its own issues for many – especially for women and the younger generation – in terms of loneliness and the negative impacts of that on wellbeing and productivity.
“At Health Shield, we’re all about helping keep our customers in the best of health, so it seemed only fitting to offer free access to our NHS-approved mental health app Thrive to all Dons fans. We’ve also seen great take-up of this offer elsewhere amongst key workers, charities and students. While it’s sad to see that depression and anxiety is on the increase, it’s good to know that help is at hand, especially for those less likely to talk about their problems.”
AFC supporters can find out more about Thrive by clicking here and following the simple steps to download the free app.