KUDOS is proud to support Time to Talk Day (Thursday 6 February), part of a national campaign to raise awareness about the importance of talking more openly about mental health. The annual campaign, organised by the fantastic Time to Change, aims to break the stigmas associated with mental health problems.
Breaking the Ice
This year, Time to Talk Day is using the popular game ‘Would you rather?’ to help break the ice and get conversations flowing. We would encourage you to join us in encouraging athletes, coaches, fans and local communities to open up to each other, to talk and to listen. You can find loads of tips for talking and offering support here.
Sport and Physical Activity can help too
Mental health illnesses affect millions of people in the UK, with around a quarter of adults in Britain showing symptoms of anxiety or depression, as stated by the Mental Health Foundation.
Sport and recreation can play a huge part in sparking conversations about mental health, whether that’s on the sidelines, at the clubhouse or in the changing rooms. A 2017 study by Staffordshire University confirmed sport has the capacity to support and treat people with mental health difficulties – but through more than just the sport itself.
The benefits of sport and physical activity on mental health have long been widely acknowledged, but the study confirms and identifies three key themes – sense of achievement, connecting with others, and ‘it’s for everyone’ (meaning an “equitable, welcoming and non-threatening environment”). These connections and non-threatening environments make it an ideal forum for open conversations, an environment in which you are more likely to find support and solidarity.
Paul Morris from Staffordshire University, who co-authored the report, was unequivocal about the findings:
This study highlights the importance of community and belonging to participants and demonstrates the potential to support people outside of traditional mental health services. The sense of community, friendship and camaraderie was more important to participants than physical exercise, suggesting that initiatives emphasising a sense of community and support may be beneficial to mental health and wellbeing. Paul Morris, staffordshire university
We don’t need to be experts in mental health to talk about it. Talk to a team mate, a colleague or a friend – and remember, it’s okay to not be okay.
• In the UK, Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123 or email email@example.com. You can contact the mental health charity Mind by calling 0300 123 3393 or visiting mind.org.uk.
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