Using the power of sport to tackle mental health problems

Buckinghamshire Mind has been awarded funding by Sport England and the National Lottery through the Get Set to Go programme to help people to try new sports and activities to help improve their physical and mental health.

Through this work, Buckinghamshire Mind is 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, boxercise and football.

Buckinghamshire Mind is 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.

A range of free taster sessions are being held in Buckinghamshire during February and March for people with mental health problems to try out new activities:

  • Move Together Mindfully, walking/running group, Aylesbury Tennis Club, 14th February
  • Aquafit for the Mind, Booker Park School, 25th February
  • Feel Good Fight Klub, Mandeville School, 26th February
  • Move Together Mindfully, walking/running group, Stowe National Trust, 26th February
  • Headspace Boxercise, Micklefield Library, 28th February
  • Football Fans in Training, Adams Park, Wycombe, 20th March

To find out more about these taster sessions, please visit: www.bucksmind.org.uk/get-set-to-go

“We know that physical activity can play a vital role in the lives of people with mental health problems, reducing the risk of depression by up to 30%,” explains Andrea McCubbin, Chief Executive of Buckinghamshire Mind. “Unfortunately, we also know that many people who do want to participate in sport are being held back by their mental health, for example through low self-confidence or feelings of anxiety. These free sessions will help people to build their confidence and take the first steps towards physical activity.”

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 free Mental Health Awareness for Sport and Physical Activity (MHASPA) training, which has been developed with UK Coaching. 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.

To find out more about the MHASPA training, please visit: www.bucksmind.org.uk/services/training-services

People with mental health problems who have taken part in an earlier pilot phase of the Get Set to Go programme say that it not only increased their activity levels over a 12-month period, but also helped them feel more resilient and better able to cope with challenging life events. The hope is that people in the Buckinghamshire area will benefit from this new phase of Get Set to Go.

To find out more, please visit: www.bucksmind.org.uk/get-set-to-go


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