Mental health and sport: Mind launches online course

Mind have launched a new online training course to support mental health awareness in sport and physical activity.

The course has been developed by the national mental health charity in partnership with 1st4sport and UK Coaching, and is being funded by Sport England and the National Lottery.

It is based on learning from the Get Set to Go programme and independent evaluation led by Loughborough University.

One in four people in the UK experience a mental health problem each year. Completing the online course will give anyone involved in sport and leisure the knowledge, skills and confidence to better understand and support people living with mental health problems, and create a positive environment that ensures they enjoy the benefits of being active and keep coming back for more.

The four modules of the course will increase knowledge and understanding of mental health, providing the user with the practical skills and strategies to be able to:

     - Build people’s resilience, self-esteem and confidence

     - Adapt sessions to make them more inclusive

     - Enable and support mental health recovery  

     - Tackle stigma and discrimination

The course has been awarded three Developmental CPD points by the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA). You can buy it for £15 (excluding VAT) via the UK Coaching website.

Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind (pictured above, far left), launched the online course alongside Mind ambassador and former world boxing champion Duke McKenzie MBE in London this week. He said: "The importance of introducing standard mental health training for coaches and physical activity professionals cannot be understated.

"Through working with sector leaders we want to embed this training alongside safeguarding and physical first aid, helping to ensure the sport and physical activity sector is welcoming and supportive of people with mental health problems across the country.

"We know that people with mental health problems face particular barriers in engaging in physical activity. We hope that convenient, accessible training like this will ultimately mean more people with mental health problems feel able to get active, as well as giving coaches more resources in their locker to look after their own mental health as well as their peers.”

Coaches and volunteers signing up for the course will automatically be contributing to the #21by21 campaign, which aims to get 21,000 coaches trained in mental health awareness by the year 2021. The campaign is being led by the Sport for Development Coalition and key partners, including Mind and StreetGames. Find out more at