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Guest Blog: Shining a light on mental health awareness

We all have mental health, just as we all have physical health. Sport and physical activity has been proven to have a positive effect on our mental health. We also know that being coached improves the satisfaction of those taking part in sport and physical activity. Yet, a recent survey from Mind found that 65% of coaches stated they lacked knowledge about mental health.

Sport and physical activity is for everyone, no matter their ability, motivations or aspirations. And UK Coaching is committed to supporting coaches to understand the needs and motivations of their participants.

Working in partnership with Mind, the leading mental health charity in England and Wales, and with support from Public Health England, UK Coaching has developed an animation to help coaches understand more about how to promote good mental health through their coaching.

Duke McKenzieWe shared our animation with former three-weight world boxing champion, coach and Mind ambassador, Duke McKenzie MBE, and here is what he had to say about it:

“I’m passionate about the importance of well-being, and as a boxer I know there currently isn’t enough support for mental health in my sport and others. Having tools such as this animation to help remind me of the simple steps to take to promote good mental health is great.

“Through my role as an ambassador for Mind I’m determined to help participants and coaches feel supported, and able to talk about their mental health. The messages I use to support others are all covered within the animation - which is easy to watch and understand.

“It’s fantastic that organisations like UK Coaching and Mind are shining a light on the need for mental health awareness as well as providing a specific support for me, as a coach with things like this.”

“3.6million people coached sport and physical activity in the last year; providing specialised support is more important than ever. Tools like this one should help make the subject easier to understand and easier for people to talk about.”

Watch the video now and share it far and wide!

Craig Blain, Development Lead – Physical Activity, UK Coaching

Follow: @CraigABlain

Additional thanks to Duke McKenzie, Boxer, Coach and Mind Ambassador, for contributing to this blog.

©Photograph of Duke comes courtesy of Mind