Eng­land Box­ing start ini­tia­tive for men­tal health in box­ing

Boxing News - - Amateurs -

ENG­LAND BOX­ING has started the ‘Box In Mind’ ini­tia­tive. They have de­vel­oped a work­shop with the char­ity Mind to raise aware­ness of men­tal health within box­ing, with the aim of re­duc­ing the stigma associated with men­tal health, and en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple within the sport to feel able to open up and get help if they are strug­gling.

As well as the ben­e­fits of ex­er­cise, the sport can have a pos­i­tive im­pact on men­tal health in a num­ber of ways. Box­ing has con­sis­tently been iden­ti­fied as one of the most pop­u­lar sports in Mind’s Get Set to Go sport and phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity pro­gramme. Struc­tured train­ing can proved some or­der to what might oth­er­wise might be a dis-or­dered

week for peo­ple with men­tal health is­sues. Clubs them­selves have a tremen­dous sense of com­mu­nity and coaches can of­ten iden­tify when peo­ple may be strug­gling and en­cour­age them to seek help.

Box­ing clubs are based in the heart of many marginalised com­mu­ni­ties and are in a unique po­si­tion to be able to en­gage peo­ple that may not be con­nected with men­tal health ser­vices. Eng­land Box­ing’s Matthew Wil­liams, who is lead­ing Box In Mind, said, “One in four adults will ex­pe­ri­ence a men­tal health prob­lem in any given year. There is an in­creas­ing aware­ness of men­tal health within so­ci­ety but there is still a great deal of stigma, and this can pre­vent peo­ple from seek­ing help when they are strug­gling. This can be am­pli­fied in the tough, com­pet­i­tive en­vi­ron­ment of box­ing.”

Hay­ley Jarvis, Mind’s Head of Phys­i­cal Ac­tiv­ity, added, “We think that ‘Box in Mind’ is a very pos­i­tive ini­tia­tive. It’s fan­tas­tic that Eng­land Box­ing and the box­ing com­mu­nity re­ally wants to in­crease its aware­ness of men­tal health and, ul­ti­mately, to make it­self more ac­ces­si­ble to peo­ple with men­tal health prob­lems.

“We know from our own Get Set to Go pro­gramme the real ben­e­fits of sport and phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity on men­tal health. Peo­ple with men­tal health prob­lems, how­ever, still face sig­nif­i­cant bar­ri­ers to be­ing ac­tive, with our re­search sug­gest­ing that al­most 70 per cent feel that their men­tal health makes tak­ing part in phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity too dif­fi­cult.

“Rec­om­men­da­tions from the first phase of Get Set to Go also sug­gested that the sports sec­tor build stronger re­la­tion­ships with lo­cal men­tal health providers, pro­vide more train­ing for staff around men­tal health aware­ness to re­duce stigma, cre­ate more wel­com­ing group en­vi­ron­ments par­tic­u­larly for first time at­ten­dees, in­volve fam­ily and friends, and give re­ally clear com­mu­ni­ca­tion to en­cour­age at­ten­dance.”

De­liv­ery of the work­shop will be­gin in Novem­ber. Con­tact matthew.wil­liams@eng­land­box­ to find out more or reg­is­ter in­ter­est.

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