ConnectSport is working with the Sport for Development Coalition to create a monthly 'call for articles' around a particular theme. Throughout March 2019 articles will focus on ‘Sport and mental health'. Here Ben Jessup, Policy Advisor at the Sport & Recreation Alliance, provides an overview of the Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation. To submit an article, contact email@example.com.
This week marks the fourth anniversary of the Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation, following its creation by the Sport and Recreation Alliance, Mind and the Professional Players Federation in 2015.
To mark the anniversary and to set a good foundation within your own organisation, we would like to highlight some brilliant new resources which are available to help you take action around workplace wellbeing:
Thriving at Work guide – A 2017 review identified several key actions employers can take to support their employees’ wellbeing. Mind developed this resource with support from the Sport and Recreation Alliance and DCMS to help organisations across the sector understand how they can implement good practice.
Mental Health at Work toolkit – Mind and the Royal Foundation’s 'Heads Together' campaign have come together to compile a range of resources within their Mental Health at Work gateway. This includes a toolkit specifically for organisations within the sport, physical activity and recreation sector.
The Charter is a statement of intent and commitment to taking action around mental health and was designed to mobilise the sector to do just that; encouraging conversations about each other’s wellbeing, tackling the stigma around mental health and promoting physical activity to help manage our mental health.
The purpose of the Charter is to create a welcoming, inclusive and positive environment for everyone to take part in sport and recreation, talk more about mental health and support people to seek help when needed.
Originally signed by around 20 organisations, the number of signatories grew exponentially overnight, and as we celebrate the fourth anniversary over 360 organisations have now signed and reaffirmed their commitment to action in this space.
Some have taken significant action, building nationwide campaigns, recruiting grassroots and elite level ambassadors alike, or making great strides to support employees’ wellbeing in the workplace.
But we appreciate that taking action around mental health can be challenging, and we recognise that some signatories have struggled to take action.
Mental health is such a broad issue, and the scale of the challenge can sometimes make it difficult to take concerted action.
But if we want to get anything across it is this: You don’t have to do everything at once. Focus on one thing at a time – small improvements really add up.
Remember, action speaks louder than words, and incremental action is the way forward.
You can find out more about the Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation here.
Please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions about how you can build your action around mental health.