A NEW film released today highlights the impact of a Forth Valley footballer’s death and his remarkable legacy.

Mitch: What happened next? is the sequel to Mitch, a film about football Chris Mitchell who died by suicide in 2016.

The film, released by the Chris Mitchell Foundation and the SPFL Trust, coincides with the news that all 42 SPFL clubs enrolled staff in Mental Health First Aid Training (MHFAT) which is delivered by the SPFL Trust in partnership with the Chris Mitchell Foundation.

On average five members of staff from each SPFL club, such as community and academy coaches, pastoral staff, and even football managers, have completed the course.

In total, more than 600 people have taken part in MHFAT with delegates attending from across football in Scotland at all levels from the men’s and women’s game.

Indeed, the SPFL Trust is reporting a significant increase in demand for the course places with 20 per cent of all attendees over the last four years having participated in the last four months, during the pandemic.

The course provides vital training to people working within Scottish football and the communities in which clubs are based.

Chris died in May 2016 after a period of depression that followed the end of his career after injury.

He had played for Falkirk, Bradford City, Queen of the South and Clyde.

The Chris Mitchell Foundation was set-up by Chris’ dad Philip and sister Laura following his death and aims to dispel the stigma associated with mental health in Scottish football through education and by raising awareness.

It comes at a time when Scotland is facing significant mental health problems.

There were 833 suicides registered in Scotland in 2019, compared to 784 in 2018.

Chris' dad Philip, co-founding trustee of the Chris Mitchell Foundation, said: “We miss Christopher every day and set up the foundation in his memory.

“We want to prevent other families from having to go through the pain that we've been through in recent years.

"No one should have to experience the loss of a loved one to suicide.

“The Mental Health First Aid Training programme has been an enormous success, with over 600 people trained.

“This is at all levels in the SPFL, Women’s football, and the grassroots game.

“I want to thank the people that have taken part.

“You’re helping Scottish football to have a conversation that is desperately needed.

“Things are changing in the conversation around mental health, and there is no going back.”

Scott Arfield, Chris’ friend and former teammate, added: "I see it in the changing rooms now, people talk, people are far more open, there's no doubt what happened to Chris has changed things massively.

“Chris was my best friend, he is sorely missed by all of us, every day.

“But, he will always be remembered.  He was so popular and a pleasure to be around.

“It’s not easy to think about the circumstances around his tragic passing but I am hopeful that our charity work underlines the importance of mental health awareness and training to break the stigma.

“No matter who you are, or the circumstances you face, please don’t give up and speak to people around you for support.”

Visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73fyoZ7ASQg&feature=youtu.be to view Mitch: What happened next? or visit cmfoundation.org.uk for more information on the work of the Chris Mitchell Foundation.