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Last Updated: Sunday, 11 June 2006, 23:09 GMT 00:09 UK
Football bid to aid mental health
Scotland's Fantasy World Cup
The game pits Scotland against Brazil in the World Cup
A Scottish fantasy World Cup game has been launched to encourage men to get in touch with their feelings.

It aims to confront stigmas stopping men from revealing their true feelings, which it is warned can impact on wellbeing and mental health.

The Scottish Executive-funded online game will be distributed via e-mail and marks the start of Men's Health Week.

It urges men to "wear their hearts on their sleeves" by putting their "footie feelings" into play off the pitch.

It can also be found at www.scotlandfantasyworldcup.com.

Emotional health

One in four people experiences mental health problems and suicide is the most common cause of death for young men under 35 in Scotland.

Campaign group Breathing Space said it was vital that men considered their emotions and took steps to maintain their health and wellbeing.

Spokesman Stevie Anderson said: "It is fantastic that football provides the opportunity for men to bond and share their emotions, however it is vital that men build on this and find ways of doing the same in other areas of their life.

Portugal's Pauleta and Luis Figo
Football can get men to show a bit of emotion

"We will all experience instances which challenge our mental health and wellbeing at some point in our lives.

"Whether it's the break down of a relationship, losing a job or even just feeling a bit down, talking about how you feel can help maintain and strengthen your emotional health."

The game was devised and funded by Breathing Space, Choose Life, the Scottish Recovery Network, Communities Scotland and the National Programme for Improving Mental Health and Wellbeing.

Breathing Space provides a free and confidential phone line targeted at men, which can be contacted on 0800 83 85 87.

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