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The Gibraltar FA has today launched its Club Assistance Programme, (CAP), a partnership agreement with Liberty Counselling Services Gibraltar.

CAP aims to raise awareness and to provide help to players and club personnel who may be suffering from mental health and behavioural issues through a confidential counselling service deigned to assist individuals in making fundamental and positive changes in their way of thinking, feeling, and behaving.

As well as counselling sessions, CAP will also provide the opportunity for each club to appoint a Mental Health First Aid Officer. Once appointed, this person would receive training by Club House Gibraltar funded by the Gibraltar FAand importantly, the role of the Club Mental Health First Aid Officer will become a mandatory part of the Domestic Club Licensing Regulations as from season 2023/24.

Furthermore, the Gibraltar FA will also be providing mental health awareness courses, which all club coaches will be encouraged to attend, aimed at training coaches and staff members to spot the signs of any potential behavioural and mental health issues in players of all ages.  

The Gibraltar FA is ready to enrol individuals as early as February 2022 on these courses which will be valid for three 3 years when refresher courses will be on offer to renew certifications.

The CAP programme will also be used as part of the reintegration process for any players or club officials who have received large suspensions for offences they have committed on the field of play. More details of this part of the programme will be published in the Gibraltar FA’s Disciplinary Regulations in due course.

General Secretary Ivan Robba commented:

“Statistically one in four people experience mental health issues, meaning that within the Gibraltarian footballing community, there is likely to be a significant number of individuals who are suffering.

We, as an Association, are determined to use football as a force for good in our community and we are committed to helping our members, our players, our coaches and all of our clubs staff and representatives as much as we can. With the launch of our CAP, if anyone is in unfortunate need of such help the right framework is now in place for individuals to receive confidential and professional assistance.”