Our #RunAndTalk programme has been created with the aim of improving mental health through running in England. Supported by Mind, the mental health charity, we want to:

  • get people talking about mental health, sharing their experiences and removing stigma
  • provide support and guidance to raise awareness of mental health problems
  • support people experiencing mental health problems to be physically active through running, whether that is to support them in starting, returning to or continuing to run.

The programme has four main areas:

  1. Mental Health Champions
    A network of volunteers in England Athletics affiliated clubs and RunTogether groups promoting mental wellbeing through running and supporting the aims of #runandtalk.
  2. Mental Health Charter
    The Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation was developed by the sector for the sector with the support of mental health charity Mind and Time to Change.
  3. Partnerships
    A partnership with Mind, the mental health charity which provides expertise around mental health.
  4. Campaigns (currently 2)
    Twice a year during a one-week period linked to Time to Talk Day (January/February) and World Mental Health Day (October) our digital campaign #RunAndTalk encourages people to run one mile or further and to have a chat with friends, family, colleagues or other runners whilst doing it. This can be done at a time and location of their choice or by joining one of the organised runs at an England Athletics affiliated club or RunTogether group.

    The next #RunAndTalk campaign will take place from 6th-12th October to support World Mental health Day on the 10th October. RunTogether groups can register an organised run by adding a #RunAndTalk tag to any run that week (at the bottom of the page when you create or edit a run). For more information on organised runs click here

           For more information about the #RunAndTalk campaign click here or to find a #RunAndTalk organised run visit www.runandtalk.co.uk.


Mental Health Champions

As part of the #runandtalk programme we aim to establish a network of volunteers across affiliated clubs and RunTogether groups in England to:

  • promote mental wellbeing through running by supporting the aims of #runandtalk
  • work with their club/group to support its members to improve their mental health through running
  • support new people who are experiencing mental health problems to start running, get back into running, or continue running

Our aim is to one day have a Mental Health Champion in every England Athletics affiliated club and RunTogether group in England so that people experiencing mental health problems can access the benefits of running in a supported way.

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The Role of a Mental Health Champion

Mental Health Champions will:

  • Be nominated and appointed by an England Athletics affiliated club or RunTogether group.
  • Have lived experience of a mental health problem, either personally or from a close relative or friend.
  • Have an open and non-judgmental attitude.
  • Adopt a positive, patient and supportive approach towards supporting people with mental health problems.
  • Be a positive role model.
  • Behave in a professional, confidential and non-discriminatory manner at all times and promote equal opportunities for all.

Please note any Mental Health Champions supporting anyone under 18 years of age should be DBS checked.  

Along with any other Mental Health Champions from the club/group they will:

  • Support #runandtalk campaigns and register an organised run for each event.
  • Provide crisis contacts to their club/group.
  • Be a point of contact for anyone experiencing mental health problems to join the club/group.
  • Encourage and promote conversations about mental health.
  • Make links with mental health organisations in the community.
  • Actively promote mental wellbeing and running

Mental Health Champions do not act as a practitioner for providing mental health support but will be provided with information and guidance on how to help someone access support.

How RunTogether Groups Can Join the #RunAndTalk Programme

RunTogether groups can apply to be part of the #RunAndTalk programme and appoint Mental Health Champion(s) within their group. Once appointed Mental Health Champions are provided with guidance and advice to support them in the role.

Applications will be taken four times per year during application windows which will open for a month at a time.

Applications will be open throughout October here. Please note applications will be processed in early November.

For further information contact disability@englandathletics.org