Mental Health in Sports
Mental health or mental illness is not something to be afraid of or to run away from, it is something to be embraced, talked about and normalised for all. Mental Health in Sports is an area we have identified we can help - We have children struggling, adults struggling and families struggling to cope, people not knowing how to communicate.
We have run workshops for teams of netball, rowing, football and rugby coaches - a broad mix of ages and backgrounds. All these passionate coaches who were interested in mental health is and its impact in sport. We shared our stories, helped with understanding whats going on and how we can communicate and reach out.
Helping athletes and junior athletes succeed
Are you passionate about promoting positive mental health in sport?
'Helping Athletes Succeed' is a workshop for coaches, athletes and parents to explore what mental health and mental ill health in sports can look like.
We explore what the contributing risk factors are and what signs to look for in athletes living with mental health challenges. We aim to challenge and break the stigma around mental health and make it a topic comfortable for discussion.
Christian Roberts (ex Professional footballer), Paul Rees (personal trainer) and Hayley T Wheeler share their experience of living with and overcoming anxiety and depression. We discuss how to get the best out of athletes living mental health challenges and offer support by creating an environment for wellbeing as a coach and athlete.
"Was a very important and serious issue to learn about - Really informative - well done!"
Local clubs are getting involved, coaches are keen to learn and understand about mental health in sport. This is open to athletes, parents, coaches, teachers, and anyone else who works with children and wants to learn more about supporting mental health in their communities.
"Fantastic talk last night mental health in sport. Thank you and well done to our junior coaches that attended. If you haven’t already started thinking about mental health in sport, NOW is the time."
Workshop FeedbackWhat workshop attendees learned and how will they use their knowledge
- Gentle awareness
- Gave a better understanding of mental health
- Mental health is affecting lots of people and children, its important to open up dialogue and promote talking about it
- Learned more about mental health and wellbeing
- Gained a bit more knowledge of signs to spot and how to deal with it
- Covered a wide range of subjects, especially mental awareness was very interesting
- Importance of having mental and physical health equivalence
- Learned not to give mental health a stigma, and to be first on hand to ask if ok
- As coaches and parents, its good to encourage the kids that its good to talk
- Affects even children of a young age, how to try and get them to engage with us all
- Encourage our boys to talk, awareness
- Its ok to talk and to be aware of changes in others
- Mental health is not a bad thing
- Be more aware of the things outside planned training
- Awareness, being more mindful of children's feelings
- Will work with my coaches to develop an environment where the kids feel safe in sharing their feelings
- Be understanding and receptive to someone if they want to talk about something
- Will take it to committee, playing area and when talking to others at the club its importance
- Be more vigilant / aware of signs of mental health issues
- Will keep a closer eye on the children and my own own son
- To make changes to the way children are approached - encourage children in their own development
- Make new policies and have mental health numbers available for children
- Just to let them know they can come and chat any time and also be aware of change in moods and behaviour
- Speaking with other coaches and looking out for all wellbeing
- Be more aware
- Will get the buy-in of parents; as a coach I am not alone.
- Build more trust
- Let them know the door is always open
- To create a safe environment for the kids
- As a tool to support my players
1 in 4 adults experience mental ill health.
Considering those statistics, how many are also struggling but don't seek help, so aren't counted? This was certainly my situation, I know I am not alone from the stories I hear. Its possible that, statistically, each youth team could be experiencing similar mental health challenges.
This fight is mine to take on, to raise awareness, to share my story and to support others. if you are part of an organisation who would like to learn more about mental health and what they can do about it, lets get started. Lets open discussions, lets break the stigma together. I'd like to continue this wave of interest and action - Let's have a chat to see if this is something you could put on in your club. Now is the time.
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I am reflecting on the helping athletes succeed workshop last night and am so very grateful for all that attended and contributed to discussions, offered opinions and shared their coaching struggles when supporting athletes with mental illness. There are so few...
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