Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation celebrates one year

Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation celebrates one year

17 March 2016

This month, the Sports and Recreation Alliance’s Mental Health Charter celebrated its one year anniversary.

The ASA, along with over 240 other signatories, has committed to ensuring that the sporting activities we provide are welcoming, positive and inclusive for everyone.

Take a look back over the first year of the Mental Health Charter.The charter was created to emphasise the importance of maintaining an active lifestyle, and the benefits to mental health and wellbeing. It also aims to tackle mental ill health and the stigma that surrounds it.

Mental health problems are widespread and can be disabling to those who experience them, yet often these problems are hidden. Despite the fact that one in four adults experience at least one diagnosable mental health problem each year, many of these adults will not speak to their GP.

It is estimated that mental ill health costs the economy £105 billion every year, roughly the same as the entire NHS, and it is the largest single cause of disability in the UK.

By signing up to the charter, the ASA has committed to:

  • promote wellbeing
  • promote and adopt good mental health policies and best practice
  • promote positive messages using diverse role models and ambassadors
  • tackle discrimination
  • support a pan-sport approach and share resources and best practice
  • monitor performance, assess progress and take positive action on mental health issues

ASA Head of Health and Wellbeing, Lara Lill, commented, “While in recent years public attitudes to mental health have improved, and many organisations and communities are committed to changing perceptions, there is still a lot of work to be done to remove the stigma surrounding mental ill health. The ASA recognises the importance of the work that Sport and Recreation Alliance and Mind are campaigning for and we fully support the Charter.

“Swimming is an accessible sport and is in a unique position to influence the actions laid out in the Charter. Swimming can provide many benefits to mental health; reducing stress and anxiety, increasing self-esteem and improving quality of life. It can also be a very social sport and can reduce loneliness, a huge contributor to mental health problems.”

Signing up to the Mental Health Charter is just the beginning of the journey, a commitment to taking positive action around mental health. For help and support along the way, the Sports and Recreation Alliance have plenty of helpful resources on their website.

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