Following World Mental Health Day, Saturday 10th October, The Rugby Players’ Association (RPA) has joined forces with over 190 sporting organisations by becoming a signatory of the Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation.
Mental illness affects 1 in 4 people in the UK and for too long a fear of discrimination and stigma has prevented individuals from either seeking help or discussing their problems with others.
Richard Bryan, RPA Rugby Director, said: “Player welfare is our number one priority and by signing this charter and working with the Sport and Recreation Alliance we are further demonstrating our commitment to our members and their overall health and wellbeing. Professional rugby players are under intense pressure every day and it’s vital that we as an Association do all we can to educate our members on the importance of mental wellbeing.”
The Charter aims to:
- Create a welcoming, inclusive and positive environment for everyone to participate in sport and recreation
- Encourage people to talk about mental health
- Support people to seek help and support when needed
The Charter was launched in spring 2015 by the Alliance and the Professional Players Federation as an increasing number of individuals in and around the sporting world talk about mental health. To date over 190 sporting organisations have signed The Charter and are committed to making their sports accessible to people with mental health problems and are using it as a force for social change. Charter signatories are receiving support from the mental health charities Mind and Time to Change to implement their Charter commitments.
This weekend was not only a weekend of sporting fixtures but also marked World Mental Health Day (Saturday 10 October). To recognise the day, we’re supporting Time to Change, the mental health anti-stigma programme run by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, with their latest campaign that highlights the small things that you can do to make a big difference to someone you know who has a mental health problem. To discover the small things visit www.time-to-change.org.uk. Also, make sure you share the campaign on social media using the hashtag #smallthings.
The Charter and action points are available online: www.sportandrecreation.org.uk/mental-health-charter