Creating Mentally Healthy Sports Communities
For longer term mental health of athletes and those involved in sport, it is important to consider how we can create a culture where mental health is valued, taken seriously, spoken about openly, and that support is available.
Normalise Mental Health Conversations
Either by opening up about your own experiences, or including mental health as a topic when you discuss overall wellbeing in sport. It shouldn't just be about physical health.
Consider Implementing Champions
Whether these are 'mental health champions' who can drive initiatives, or formal Mental Health First Aiders, it is important that there is someone who those involved with sport can turn to if they want advice or support.
Offer Training and Development
Include mental health and wellbeing courses as part of athlete, coach and sports venue colleague development. There are many free courses offered by charities, and some can be found on Eventbrite.
Challenge Unhelpful Behaviours
Call out and challenge language, and behaviour which propagates stigma against mental health, and reinforces negative stereotypes.
Signpost to Support
Make sure support is clearly signposted, so that those who are struggling know where to go and where to find resources if they are unwell.