The Sport Development team at Bedford Borough Council recently hosted an online webinar to support clubs and coaches with mental health awareness in sport, whilst also providing guidance on the best support to give someone who is experiencing mental health issues.
As part of the Mindful Sport workforce development initiative, a wide range of partners were brought together for a remote conference – all with links to Team Beds and Luton, the regional Active Partnership – to offer advice, guidance and contacts for mental health support services and charities. Practical advice included tips such as ALGEE (ALGEE is a mnemonic device for Mental Health First Aid’s 5-step Action Plan), contact details for local and regional support services and access to further online courses.
With 35 attendees to the online webinar, which included presentations from Mind East region, ELFT East London Foundation Trust NHS, Public Health, Central Beds Council, Active Luton the information shared was from a wide range of local providers and guidance was provided on developing a mental health strategy as a club. There was an opportunity for questions and feedback has shown that it support collaborative ideas at a time when coaches are feeling quite isolated as well.
The Mindful Sport workforce development initiative, funded by Sport England, aims to upskill local clubs, coaches and volunteers in Bedford so that they are better equipped to support participants who may be experiencing mental health issues. Since Sep 2019 84 coaches/professionals have attended a number of different courses including mental health first aid and mental health awareness in sport.
At a very difficult time for clubs and coaches we wanted to offer an opportunity to use this time to come together online and share information between the sports sector and health sector to ensure positive provision for Bedfordshire’s community.
Clare Fitzboydon, Director at Team Beds and Luton said
“team BEDS&LUTON have a wide range of delivery, support and development which comes under their workforce area of work and it is so delightful to see projects come to life and the Bedford Mental Wellbeing project is one of these. This was a super example of all LA’s and partners, coming together to support the sector in this important area of mental wellbeing. Great collaboration!”