Comic Relief have launched a new funding call aimed at tackling mental health issues by using sports-based approaches.
The fund, entitled ‘Ahead of the Game: Sport and mental health’ is open for applications from the UK, Ghana, Uganda and Rwanda and will close on May 31.
Funding is available for between three years and five years, and applications are welcome for a minimum of £150,000 and a maximum of £450,000.
A statement on www.comicrelief.com read: “Comic Relief has launched this funding call with two aims:
“Firstly, it aims to support new or existing work that combines sports-based approaches with quality mental health support to reduce distress and/or improve mental wellbeing.
“Secondly, it aims to contribute to the growing body of evidence by learning from projects about what approaches are effective for whom, in what contexts.”
It added: “There is a growing body of evidence that suggests that mental health can be improved through sports-based approaches which combine sport or physical activity with quality mental health support.
“However, this needs to be intentional. Research shows that taking part in any sport or physical activity will not automatically, on its own, positively benefit someone’s mental health.
“Programmes aiming to use sport or physical activity to support those with mental health problems need to be carefully designed to ensure they provide adequate support and are effective.”
In the UK, Comic Relief say they will focus on supporting organisations to use sports-based approaches to support people who are already experiencing mental health problems, whether these are self-determined or diagnosed.