It has just been announced that a £2 million scheme which uses sport to improve the lives of people with mental health problems is to be introduced.
The programme will be part-funded and run by mental health charity, Mind and will receive additional funding from Sport England in a bid to help up to 75,000 people suffering from a range of conditions all around the UK.
Individuals will be offered all the support they need in order to join sports clubs, take up new activities and even join a gym. The programme is aiming to help 25,000 people in the first 15 months of its operation and will also see support groups and taster sessions being set up to help people make exercise a part of their everyday lives.
Chief Executive of Mind, Paul Farmer asserted that physical activity can play a key role in recovery from conditions such as anxiety and depression but these illnesses frequently prevent people from partaking in such activities in the first place:
“Feelings of low self-confidence, exhaustion or fear of crowded spaces can seem insurmountable when facing a mental health problem.”
Sports coaches taking part in the scheme will receive specialist training to ensure that they understand the issues faced by those with mental health problems.
Speaking about the benefits of physical activity, Mike Diaper, Sport England’s Director of Community commented:
“Sport has the power to improve lives. There is compelling evidence that participation in sport and physical activity has a positive influence on mental wellbeing and mental illness. This includes enhancing day-to-day moods, reducing the impact of stress and improving self-esteem.”