Albion’s top scorer attended a specially arranged five-a-side football tournament at Sussex University to launch the 'Game Changing' scheme.
The new initiative is a joint partnership between Albion’s charity and the Sussex Partnership NHS Trust, the body responsible for mental health services in Sussex, and aims to use sport and physical activity in the delivery of mental health services.
The Scottish international, alongside guests from the NHS, joined 60 players from 11 teams across Sussex who took part in the inaugural tournament.
Mackail-Smith is AITC’s Health Player Ambassador and presented the winners' medals to the Albion Goals project team, who won all six of their matches during the competition.
AITC Health Development Manager, Dan Lawson, who helped organise the tournament praised the success of the occasion telling seagulls.co.uk, “The event went really well, and there was a great atmosphere on the pitches.
“The theme for this year’s World Mental Health Day was depression, so we did a lot of work with them about creating a positive mindset.
“Each team had to think of an emotion, and then say thank you for it. One lad was thanking his mum for all the times she had been there for him when he was in trouble, and it was a truly moving moment.”
Chief Executive of the Sussex Partnership, Lisa Rodrigues CBE, along with Steve Ford, joint Managing Director of AITC, officially signed the new partnership agreement after the tournament.
Rodrigues, a life-long Albion fan added, “We are proud to be working with AITC to improve people’s lives and raise the profile of mental health through sport.
“We know that mental and physical health is inextricably linked. We are clinical experts in mental health but by working together with AITC we can achieve great things for the people in Sussex and beyond.”
As part of the agreement AITC will deliver football coaching and education courses to the Trust’s patients as part of recovery programmes.
In addition the partnership will see both organisations work on public awareness campaigns aimed at reducing the stigma of mental health.