Today (Saturday 10th October) is World Mental Health Day. In the words of the World Health Organization (WHO), its goal this year is to “campaign for increased investment in mental health”. Investment is vital, but KUDOS also recognises the crucial importance of physical activity in relation to our well-being, mental health and social integration.

This tumultuous year has brought our mental health into sharper focus. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed all of our daily lives, and many of us have felt the impact of this on our mental health. Furthermore, as we approach winter and more restrictions are being enforced across the UK, experts are warning that a mental health crisis is looming.

It has been a difficult year for everyone, which is why this year’s theme ‘Mental Health for All’ is particularly important. While COVID-19 is a physical illness, the lockdown restrictions and social distancing measures and have had a significant impact on people’s mental health. Latest research from the charity Mind reveals that more than 60% of adults and over two thirds of young people (68%) felt their mental health deteriorated during the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown, and NHS leaders have reported a rise in the number of people reporting severe mental health difficulties.

MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES ARE MORE COMMON THAN YOU MIGHT HAVE REALISED

Outwith the pandemic, the facts, overall, are quite shocking. By the time you finish reading this, at least half a dozen people around the world will have committed suicide, while roughly 1 in 4 people in the UK will be affected by a mental health problem this year.

Research carried out by the English Federation of Disability Sport shows that people suffering with mental health issues are less engaged in sport and physical activity. Sport is a powerful force for good in a number of ways, and arguably the most important benefit it can provide is the positive contribution it can make towards our mental health and well-being. Joining a local sports club can prove an attractive, stigma-free means of engagement for people with mental health disorders, as it is an environment in which they are not viewed as a ‘patient’.

Taking part in sport can help keep mental health issues at bay

Physical activity can not only help those already suffering with mental health problems but it can act as a key preventative measure. So, even if you’re feeling good but don’t take part in any sport, it’s never a bad idea to get active in some way, shape or form.

Participation in physical activity and sport has been proven to be effective in reducing levels of depression and anxiety. Even low to moderate bouts of physical exercise will have a positive effect on both short and long-term psychological health.

We want to encourage and support as many people as possible to get active and involved in sport. You might not feel a particularly or naturally sporty person, and may lack the confidence to go and get involved in a local club – but most if not all sports clubs these days provide a warm and welcoming environment, and there is nothing to be afraid of. And while most clubs are operating within the new restrictions and guidelines, most are – as things stand – still functioning, training and playing.

Get involved and help raise awareness on social media

KUDOS is pleased to support World Mental Health Day and the variety of sporting campaigns associated with it. If you’re struggling, don’t be afraid – and speaking out is often the first step to recovery. You are not alone and help is out there.

KUDOS SPORTS – A LEADING SUPPLIER OF CUSTOM TEAMWEAR

KUDOS supplies made-to-order teamwear to a range of sports clubs across the globe. We supply bespoke custom kit that is built for performance and worn with pride. Use our one minute kit designer to design your kit today.

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