for better mental health

Physical activity and mental health

At Mind, we use the power of sport and physical activity to raise awareness, tackle mental health stigmas and support those of us with mental health problems to become more active. We also offer a range of resources and engagement opportunities for sports organisations who wish to do more around mental health.

Returning to sport and physical activity after lockdown

As lockdown restrictions begin to ease, sport and physical activity providers - such as clubs, groups and venues - plan for reopening. Whilst some people may be excited about returning to work, sessions and facilities, early evidence shows that many will be returning to play with poorer mental health due to coronavirus.

We've developed two handy guides: one to help individuals prepare for participation, and one to equip the sport and physical activity sector with tools and information to support the mental health of staff, volunteers and participants.

Guidance for participants

Guidance for clubs and organisations

Support for people wanting to become more active

Looking to increase your activity levels but don't know where to start? We've put together some information pages to help you on your way. You can explore different types of activity to find what's right for you. You can complete most of these activities at home or in the garden, any many require no equipment. You can also join our online platform, Elefriends, and link up with others who are just starting out too.

More about getting active

eLearning: Mental Health Awareness for Sport and Physical Activity +

This course is aimed at everyone who works in clubs, community sport and physical activity – such as coaches, activators, sports administrators, front of house staff or volunteers.

Complete the course and you will gain the confidence to be able to support people experiencing mental health problems, and help them to thrive inside and outside of your sessions.

Available for £12. 

Find out more about the course

Our newsletters

Each month, we send a monthly newsletter to update our partners from across the sport, physical activity and mental health sectors about a variety of topics. Our newsletters provide updates on our work, share good practice from across the sector, and opportunities for you to get involved with. To date, over 800 people have signed up to receive our newsletter.

Email [email protected] to sign up

Our webinars

As part of our sector support offer, we've introduced a brand new series of webinars to support the sport and physical activity sector to do more around mental health. Our webinars cover an array of topics to share learnings and good practice, and they are all free to attend. 

See what's coming up

Mental health champions: a toolkit for the sport and physical activity sector

This toolkit is for organisations, clubs and groups in the sport and physical activity sector that want to support the mental health of their members, participants, staff and volunteers. It introduces the idea of mental health champions, and provides guidance on establishing a mental health champions scheme.

Explore the toolkit

Thriving at Work: A guide for the sport and physical activity sector

Thriving at Work is an independent review that outlines what employers can do to better support all employees, including those with mental health problems, to remain in and thrive through work. We've collaborated with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the Sport and Recreation Alliance, and Sport England to help employers across the sport and physical activity sector to understand and implement the Thriving at Work standards. You can access the guide for free.

Download our free resources

We Are Undefeatable

You are twice as likely to be inactive if you have a long-term health condition. However being active can help to manage over 20 long-term conditions such as depression. It also reduces the risk of developing some conditions by up to 40% and can delay the onset of and reduce the severity of many long-term health conditions.

For the first time ever, 15 leading health and social care charities have launched a national campaign and movement to inspire and support people with long-term health conditions to be active.

More about We Are Undefeatable

Join your nearest Regional Network

Last year, we announced the creation of nine Regional Networks, bringing together sport, physical activity and mental health organisations at a local to regional level. The Networks will work to increase the number of groups within their region who are equipped with the skills to support and engage people with mental health problems in physical activity. The Regional Networks will achieve this by:

  • building relationships between sport, physical activity and mental health organisations at a local to regional level.
  • highlighting good practice and sharing relevant updates about Mind's work.
  • sharing our training, toolkits and resources.

More about our Regional Networks

Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation

From elite sport through to grass-roots participation, sport can be used to reduce stigma and start positive conversations about mental health. 

We've worked with the Sport and Recreation Alliance and the Professional Players Federation to create the Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation. We've also developed resources and case studies to support signatories, along with a dedicated LinkedIn page to help you keep track of what is going on across the sector.

Join over 350 organisations and sign up today by making three pledges about how your organisation aims to break down the barriers surrounding mental health problems in sport.

More about the Mental Health Charter

Mind and the EFL are #OnYourSide

In 2018, we launched our game changing partnership with the English Football League (EFL). This partnership is a brilliant opportunity for us to promote awareness and understanding of mental health amongst football fans. We want to show everyone within the football community that Mind are always #OnYourSide when things get tough.

More about our EFL partnership

Support for coaches

Sports coaches play a key role in supporting people with mental health problems to become active. That's why we have developed some handy videos to help support coaches on their journey to making their classes and training sessions more inclusive. We've teamed up with partners including UK Coaching, along with Mind ambassador Duke McKenzie MBE, to bring you some top tips.

More about support for coaches

Our toolkits

We have developed two toolkits to help support you to provide sport and physical activity services to people with mental health problems. They share learning and best practice from other organisations, and use real examples and tested resources.

The two toolkits have been designed to work alongside each other, but one is specifically for mental health organisations and one is for the sports sector.

Toolkit for the sport sector

Toolkit for mental health service providers

Mental Health in Sport and Physical Activity Conference

The sport and physical activity sector has made significant progress in the last five years in creating an environment that is fair and inclusive to those of us with mental health problems. This conference will celebrate what has been achieved since the Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation was published in March 2015.

Although we have come on leaps and bounds over the last five years, there is still work to be done. The conference will also be an opportunity to look towards the future, and to learn and grow as a sector.

Join the conversation online using #SportMinds.

Go to the conference page

Other ways to get involved

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