Buckinghamshire Mind has been awarded funding by Sport England and the National Lottery to help people to try new sports and activities to help improve their physical and mental health. Through this work, Buckinghamshire Mind will be supporting people experiencing mental health problems – such as depression and anxiety – to build their confidence to join sports clubs, go to the gym or take up a new sport such as running, swimming and football to name a few.
Buckinghamshire Mind will be working closely with partners Leap (County Sport & Activity Partnership) to deliver community sports and activity sessions and to create a more inclusive and welcoming environment within local sport and leisure facilities.
As part of this work, they will be offering free Mental Health Awareness for Sport and Physical Activity (MHASPA) training to sport sector staff, which has been developed with UK Coaching.
As well as sports sector staff, Buckinghamshire Mind is calling for Peer Volunteers, who understand how mental health problems can be a barrier to getting more active, to take part in this MHASPA training. Once they have completed the training, the Peer Volunteers will then support people with mental health problems who are participating in 12-week sport and activity programmes, managed by Buckinghamshire Mind and coordinated by Leap.
“We urgently need Peer Volunteers to help with this vital project,” explains Peter Holmes, Community Services Team Lead for Buckinghamshire Mind. “The volunteers will need to have lived experience of mental health problems and be passionate about helping people manage their mental health through physical activity. Volunteers will provide invaluable insight about the barriers to getting active for people with mental health problems.”
Anyone interested in becoming a Peer Volunteer should contact: [email protected]
The MHASPA training has been developed with the input of those living with mental health problems and people working in the sport and physical activity sectors to create a practical workshop that will help participants:
- Understand common misconceptions about mental health and the impact of stigma and discrimination
- Identify the positive impact that being active has on physical and mental health
- Appreciate the barriers that stop people getting active
- Talk confidently about mental health
- Know where to signpost people to if they need support
- Identify practical actions to make your service more accessible for everyone
For more information about the MHASPA training or to book your place, please contact: [email protected]