England Athletics seek Mental Health Ambassadors
12 February 2016
We’re often told that physical activity is good for our bodies and our minds, but we also understand that having a mental health problem can make it difficult to get started for a number of reasons ranging from negative body image, lack of self-esteem to practical reason such as having no one to go with and not knowing where to get started.
England Athletics are looking for Mental Health Ambassadors who are committed to our cause of improving mental wellbeing through running.
We are looking for ambassadors who are/have:
- Experience of a mental health problem, either personally or from a close relative or friend.
- An open and non-judgmental attitude.
- A member of an England Athletics affiliated club or Run England group.
- A positive, patient and supportive approach towards supporting people with mental health problems.
- A positive role model.
- Behave in a professional, confidential and non-discriminatory manner at all times and promote equal opportunities for all.
Things ambassadors will do:
1. Support. Work with other people in your running club or group (such as committee members or group leader) to proactively support the mental wellbeing of club/group members. Provide information about local services that can offer support to participants with needs not related to sport.
2. Engage. Make links between your club/group with local mental health groups and organisations and encourage their members to start running.
3. Tweet. Share with their twitter follower’s England Athletics’ information about #runandtalk and other related campaigns.
4. Share. Share England Athletics Facebook posts about #runandtalk and other related content.
5. Talk. Start conversations about mental health with other club or group members.
6. Advocate. Share guidance and information provided by England Athletics with elected club/group officials and others about mental health issues related to running.
7. Volunteer. Get involved and actively participate in volunteer opportunities to support people experiencing mental health problems to start running.
Mental Health Ambassadors are NOT expected to provide individual or emergency support for people in crisis. But there are lots of people who can support and guidance will be provided to on how to help people and how to signpost them to relevant organisations and services if necessary.
The role of a mental health ambassador is voluntary and only requires a small time commitment. Mental Health Ambassadors will be provided with the necessary supporting guidance and resources from England Athletics to help you in your role. This will include:
- England Athletics’ Mental Health Ambassador handbook (providing further guidance and advice to support you as an ambassador and explaining in more detail about each of the 7 things an ambassador could do and how to do them)
- A list of support services and contact details to signpost participants needing support with their mental health.
- Access to Mind’s Mental Health Awareness for Sport and Physical Activity training.
- England Athletics’ ‘Athletics and Mental Health resource’.
- Access to Time to Change Champion e-learning modules.
To be a Mental Health Ambassador for your club/group you will need a named committee member or Run Leader to support your application (clubs/groups can have more than one ambassador).