Sur­vey probes men­tal health

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Student Life -

EDGE Hill Univer­sity, in part­ner­ship with DOCIAs­port, has launched the UK’s first-ever na­tional sur­vey into the men­tal health of peo­ple in­volved in sport.

Ques­tion­ing peo­ple (aged 16+) who work in sport from grass­roots to pro­fes­sional level, and in the ed­u­ca­tion and phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity/life­style sec­tors, the re­sults will re­veal for the first time the state of men­tal health through­out the sports work­force.

It will be the first time data of this kind will be col­lected and it’s hoped thou­sands of of lead­ers, em­ploy­ees and vol­un­teers across the sport and phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity sec­tor will take part in the study.

Great Bri­tain Par­a­lympian, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thomp­son, is back­ing the sur­vey af­ter she chaired last year’s Gov­ern­ment’s Duty of Care in Sport Re­view.

She said: “The men­tal health of the sport sec­tor was a vi­tally im­por­tant com­po­nent of the terms of ref­er­ence of the re­view.

“I am de­lighted that Edge Hill Univer­sity and DOCIAs­port have launched this sur­vey which will help in­form strate­gies and poli­cies re­lat­ing to well­be­ing for all in­volved in de­liv­er­ing sport and ac­tiv­ity in the UK. While the abil­ity to dis­cuss th­ese is­sues has be­come more pos­i­tive in re­cent times, there is still much to be done to en­sure that peo­ple are sup­ported to reach their po­ten­tial.”

Sup­ported by the Sport and Re­cre­ation Al­liance, the 10-minute sur­vey will be shared with sport and phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity or­gan­i­sa­tions, na­tional gov­ern­ing bod­ies and other groups in­clud­ing char­i­ties and univer­si­ties.

Edge Hill pro­fes­sor of sport and phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity, Andy Smith, who con­trib­uted to last year’s re­view, said: “Men­tal health and ill­ness are in­creas­ingly recog­nised as be­ing im­por­tant in sport and phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity, yet lit­tle data ex­ists on the men­tal health of the work­force in the sec­tor and how preva­lent men­tal ill­ness and men­tal health help-seek­ing is.

“Through this sur­vey and the in­ter­views we hope to con­duct, we’ll be able to shed new light on men­tal health in the UK sport and phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity work­force.

“Ul­ti­mately, our find­ings will en­able us to make rec­om­men­da­tions on how or­gan­i­sa­tions in the sport and phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity sec­tor can bet­ter sup­port their em­ploy­ees’ men­tal health and how ef­fec­tive forms of train­ing and sup­port can be de­vel­oped.”

Ian Braid, founder of DOCIAs­port (Duty of Care in Ac­tion in sport) and for­mer CEO of the Bri­tish Ath­letes Com­mis­sion, and who him­self has ex­pe­ri­enced men­tal ill­ness, said: “The need to ad­dress men­tal health in the sport and phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity sec­tor was one of the driv­ing forces be­hind set­ting up DOCIAs­port and for col­lab­o­rat­ing with Edge Hill Univer­sity on this im­por­tant project.

To read more about the project and to com­plete the sur­vey, visit: www.edge­hill.ac.uk/sport/re­search/spawmh/

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thomp­son – wel­comed Edge Hill’s in­volve­ment

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