An event to mark the two year anniversary of the Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation was held this week at the London Aquatics Centre. The event was attended by signatories, ambassadors and supporters and showcased the work which has been carried out by a number of sporting and recreational organisations ranging from elite Player Associations to grass roots organisations.
Speaking at the event, Clark Carlisle, former professional footballer and mental health ambassador said, “You don’t have to be like me and tell everyone, but just tell somebody. Also don’t think it’s irrelevant if you’re not suffering from mental health problems yourself. You might be the person to empower someone when they ask for help.”
Ollie Phillips, former England Rugby 7s captain, features in the RPA’s #LiftTheWeight campaign and said, “With the help of the RPA I found someone to talk to and the difference to how I felt a year ago compelled me to get involved. I knew so many other players were going through it and didn’t know who to talk to.”
Snooker player Mitchell Mann, an ambassador for the WPBSA’s ‘#YourCueToTalk campaign said, “I’m not ashamed to talk about my mental health problems. It actually feels good to get everything that had built up inside me off my chest and I hope that by talking about it I can encourage other players to do the same as it will make them feel better.”
England Athletics’ local Mental Health Ambassador Cat Woods said, “Your body is capable of so much but sometimes it’s your mind that holds you back. With England Athletics and Mind behind me, it has been an easy process setting up mental health ambassador roles and it would be great to get more and more ambassadors like myself in other organisations.”
Speaking on behalf of the steering group, Paul Farmer CEO of Mind said, “We know that sport has a huge role to play in reducing stigma and encouraging positive conversation around mental health, from grass roots all the way to high performance level. We look forward to continuing our work on the Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation and are heartened that we are already seeing the positive impact it is having on the organisations who have signed up to it so far.”
Further details about the Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation can be found here.