It is estimated that one in four people will experience a mental health illness each year in the UK. For these people, the pressures and strains of life and work can act as a catalyst to mental health problems, with the most common being depression and anxiety.
The links between good physical health and mental health are well recognised. Physical activity such as playing rugby can be very beneficial for mental health and wellbeing as well as bringing physical benefits.
Mind – For Better Mental Health
When someone is experiencing a mental health problem, supportive and reliable information can change his or her life. Mind, one of the leading mental health charities in England and Wales, provides information and guidance for anyone involved in rugby who may be dealing with mental health problems and those supporting them.
Mind’s Infoline offers callers confidential help and information:
Tel: 0300 123 3393
Mind's Information and Support section provides information on the services and resources they offer
Mind offer Urgent Help Advice for anyone needing it.
Mind provide support for coaches and physical activity providers including a Sport and physical activity toolkit
There is a network of around 130 local Minds across England and Wales that offer specialised support and care based on the needs of the communities they support.
How clubs and coaches can support someone with mental health problems.
To help prevent problems developing, clubs and coaches can play a key role in promoting good mental health and wellbeing.
1. UK Coaching mental health infographics – part 1 and part 2
This video, produced by Mind, UK Coaching and Public Health England provides guidance on how coaches can promote good mental health through their coaching.
Watch: Promoting good mental health through your coaching.
UK Coaching’s Mental Health in Coaching Guidance has some useful information on the role coaches play in supporting others, emotionally as well as physically. It highlights the impact that this can have on a coach’s own mental health and provides guidance on how coaches can understand and maintain their own mental health.
Time to Change
The support of a coach, team mates and others can play an important role in supporting someone who has mental health problems.
Time to Change aims to promote awareness and improve the perception of dealing with mental health illnesses. There is a wealth of information and a number of useful resources including the
In Your Corner campaign, which specifically encourages men and young people to be more open and supportive of those fighting a mental health problem.
While people may have the best intentions, coaches and others should not give counselling and support which they are not qualified to offer.
It is important that the support is appropriate and crucial that professional help is sought if needed.
Individuals should be directed to seek advice from their GP if they are struggling, and families can approach their children’s schools if they are concerned about their child.
Other sources of information and support
The NHS provide general information on Mental Health and services that are available. Please visit the NHS Mental Health Services for more information.
Young Minds is a charity specifically focused on promoting positive mental health in children and young people. They offers good resources, especially for families who are concerned about their children.
Student Minds is a charity that works with students and members of the university community to develop the knowledge, confidence and skills to look after their own mental health, support others and create change.
The Light the Weight campaign supports professional players who can experience a unique set of pressure, having to deal with the intense demands of performing in an elite environment week in, week out.
Childline is especially for children. A free, private and confidential service where children can talk about anything, whatever their worry, whenever it is needed.
Tel: 0800 1111 (Free 24-hour number)
The Samaritans are available for anyone who needs them. They provide a confidential, non-judgmental and safe environment for people to talk about concerns and issues thy are having.
Mental Health Training
CBs, clubs, schools, colleges and universities may want to arrange mental health training for coaches, staff, volunteers, players etc. There are a number of reputable organisations and charities offering training such as the Mental Health First Aid courses.
When organising courses always check that the trainer delivering the course is appropriately qualified and that the content is relevant for the attendees.
MIND runs mental health courses:
Mental Health Awareness for Sport and Physical Activity
The StreetGames charity runs a course aimed at coaches, staff and other volunteers working with young people.