Mind partnership provides mental health support for colleges

AoC Sport and Mind have launched a partnership which aims to develop mental health and physical activity projects for colleges.

As part of Mind’s Sector Support programme, funded by Sport England and the National Lottery, AoC Sport will become one of its operational partners. The programme aims to equip more sport and physical activity providers with the skills to support and engage people with mental health problems in physical activity.

The partnership will run until the end of March 2021 and will focus on two projects: creating bespoke tutorial resources for the Further Education sector around mental health and the benefits of physical activity, and secondly developing a Mental Health Ambassador programme as part of the AoC Sport Leadership Academy.


The tutorial resources are aimed at reaching students with mental health problems or those at risk of developing mental health problems to become more active. The resources will be designed so any member of college staff can deliver. Colleges can then adapt them to fit the structure of their tutorial programme.

The role of the Mental Health Ambassadors will be to act as a buddy to support students with low levels of mental wellbeing or diagnosed mental health problems to become more active and promote the benefits of physical activity on mental health. AoC Sport and Mind will design and deliver training for staff that they can then deliver to their Ambassadors.

Dean Hardman, AoC Director of Sport and Student Experience said: “We know the positive impact that physical activity can have on mental health, so we at AoC Sport are very pleased to be partnering with Mind to support colleges, their staff and students.


“This partnership is being established at a very important time, as the whole country comes to terms with changes brought about by the current public health crisis. We recognise it is a growing issue for members and working on mental health projects will remain a priority for AoC in both the short and long term.”

Hayley Jarvis, Head of Physical Activity for Mind, said: “We know that physical activity can play a vital role in the lives of people with mental health problems. It can reduce the risk of depression by up to 30% and can improve people’s resilience and ability to cope.

“Unfortunately, we also know that half of all mental health problems are established by the age of 14, rising to 75% by the age of 24. As a result, we are delighted to be partnering with AoC Sport to develop projects to support colleges and their students around mental health.”

Sign up here to use the tutorial resources for September 2020.