Psychologist puts ‘Time for You’ project on world map

Dr Bryan McCann will tell the world how he helped set up lifeline mental health support for COVID-19 frontline workers with students from GCU at an international conference in Italy next week.

The Senior Lecturer in Psychology and Sport and Exercise Psychologist in the Department of Psychology has been invited to give a presentation at the European Federation of Sport Psychology (FEPSAC) 2022 in Padova.

This year’s theme is ‘Sport, exercise and performance psychology: challenges and opportunities in a changing world’ and Dr McCann’s Time for You project is a perfect example of this.

Our DPsych trainee Health and Sport and Exercise Psychologists have been working with the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) to provide one-to-one sessions through a free and immediate service called Time for You.

Dr McCann launched the Time for You project to give the trainees “invaluable experience and employability skills for the future” as well as make a positive contribution to the community, fulfilling GCU’s mission as the University for the Common Good.

Dr McCann said: “Frontline workers have been superheroes during the pandemic making sure that vital services are available to the public. The Time for You service provides frontline workers with invaluable support during these challenging times.

“It is a privilege to be able to share our work developing and delivering the Time for You project with our partners SAMH at one of the largest and most important sport and exercise psychology conferences in the world.

“My presentation will provide delegates insight into how we went about developing this unique service to support frontline workers’ mental health during the pandemic.

“Crucially, though, the presentation will consider the experience of our Trainee Sport & Exercise Psychologists who were involved in delivering the service, and the transferability of their skills when working with frontline workers.”

During his presentation, he will highlight the massive student placement shortage during the pandemic and how setting up the Time for You project helped his students meet their course requirements and learning outcomes associated with their programme.

Dr McCann will tell delegates: “Creative solutions were required to develop new placement opportunities for trainees within the context of the pandemic and associated restrictions.

“GCU staff addressed the challenges associated with placement by partnering with the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) and gaining funding to deliver an online psychological support intervention – Time for You – to support the mental health and wellbeing of frontline workers, delivered by Trainee Sport & Exercise Psychologists.”

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