The mental health charity Mind has announced the launch of nine new Regional Networks to help more people with mental health problems engage with physical activity. By linking up local organisations across the physical activity, mental health and charity sectors Mind hopes its Regional Networks will support sport and physical activity organisations to be more inclusive of people with mental health problems.
The Regional Networks will work to increase the number of groups in their region who are equipped with the skills to support and engage people with mental health problems in physical activity. They will offer training, toolkits and resources, as well as providing a platform for networking and sharing best practice to build stronger relationship between organisations.
Every Regional Network will be led by a Hub (lead organisation), with many being led by one of the Active Partnerships including Tyne & Wear Sport, MSP, Yorkshire Sport Foundation, Sport Birmingham, Herts Sport Partnership, Active Oxfordshire and Active Dorset. .
They will receive support and funding from Mind until the 31st March 2021. Hubs will have autonomy and responsibility for designing, delivering and implementing their Regional Network. Each Hub will aim to engage and support at least 70 organisations in their region and upskill 160 people such as coaches, volunteers and staff in mental health awareness.
Hayley Jarvis, Head of Physical Activity, said:
“We know that physical and mental health go hand in hand and it is now well-established that being more physically active can have real benefits to our mental health. Yet despite this, many people with mental health problems face barriers to getting active, ranging from fears about physical appearance or being intimidated by going to the gym, to finding it hard to get out of the house. The good news is that, by upskilling staff and volunteers across the sport and physical activity sector, we can begin to break down some of these barriers. We hope that the Regional Networks will help bring about real change in the sector that leads to more people with mental health problems feeling able to get more active.”
Lee Mason, Chief Executive of Active Partnerships said:
“We are delighted that Active Partnerships have stepped forward to take on the role of Mind’s Regional Network Hubs, using their networks and collaborative approach to support this important area of work. We look forward to working with partners and upskilling the workforce to break down barriers and enable more people with mental health problems to become physical active and experience the benefits that leading an active lifestyle has.”
For more information about Mind’s Regional Networks please click here.
Organisations interested in getting involved with their nearest Regional Network should email firstname.lastname@example.org