NEIL Lennon has welcomed an initiative to provide mental health first aid training for Scottish football clubs as he was unveiled as an ambassador for the SPFL Trust charity golf day.

Lennon, the Hibernian manager, has spoken openly about his struggles with depression in the past and is hopeful the training, which will be partially funded by the Chris Mitchell Foundation, will help to address what he believes is a widespread problem.

The trust’s objective is to have two people at every SPFL club trained in mental health awareness within the next two months and to date no fewer than 106 participants have signed up to the programme.

“I’m very passionate about it,” said Lennon. “Over the past year, you’ve seen isolated incidents of a lot of high-profile players, Aaron Lennon, Steven Caulker, Clark Carlisle. So it is becoming more prevalent in this day and age.

"It doesn’t mean it didn’t go on before because I’m sure it did. But now sport in general is taking a far more aggressive approach to mental health. And I think it’s great. I think it’s very, very important.

“A recent survey showed that 64 per cent of people asked had experienced problems. I think it’s always been there. It’s just that people have been reluctant to come forward.

“It’s not a test of your masculinity. It’s a test of your health and your health is the most important thing in your life. So I’m very, very pleased that Scottish football are doing something positive about that.”

Lennon added: “Thankfully, in my formative years as a footballer, I didn’t have it as an issue. But I have seen it in young players. In this day and age, this generation coming through, they live in a bubble, a social media bubble. There is more pressure, be it peer pressure or pressure from supporters, to get to the top.

"Some are maybe scared to come forward. And sometimes they don’t know what is happening to them. It is a gradual decline in your mental health. Even sometimes your physical health.

“It can manifest itself in many, many ways. Some people lose enjoyment of things, some people don’t want to get out of bed, some people cry all the time. They feel in a dark place. There are so many different aspects of the condition. It is important they come forward when they realise they are off kilter and there is something affecting them.

“If club have people who are training to identify the signs that would be fantastic. I haven’t had the training myself, but sometimes I can see it in a senior and, in my experience as a manager on a few occasions, younger players. It’s important you try and deal with it.”

Neil Lennon was speaking to promote the SPFL Trust Golf Day 2018 in partnership with The Chris Mitchell Foundation which will take place at The Carrick on May 23. All funds raised will go towards the provision of Mental Health First Aid Training for Scottish football clubs. Costing £199 per head, bookings can be made via 0141 620 4162 or