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More than eight in 10 people believe that the government should plough more finance into sport and physical activity programmes designed to combat mental health issues.
According to a study commissioned by the Sport and Recreation Alliance, the Professional Player’s Federation and mental health charity Mind, 84 per cent of the 1,000 respondents called more more Treasury money, while 80 per cent agreed that their mental health improves when they are physically active.
The research, published ahead of the year anniversary of the Sport and Recreation Alliance’s Mental Health Charter, also found that 85 per cent believed that healthcare professionals should promote physical activity as treatment.
Former England cricketer Marcus Trescothick, who has spoken openly about his experience with depression, said there were “so many opportunities to create new initiatives” to educate and involve people in the subject.
“The Mental Health Charter highlights the provisions sport has already put in place to support people dealing with mental health problems,” he added. “In order to break down the stigma, the sport and recreation sector has and will continue to work together to action the objectives of the Charter.”
The Sport and Recreation Alliance published the Mental Health Charter last March to raise awareness and tackle the stigma attached to mental health problems in sport. Since it was launched, 230 signatories have “committed to making positive change”.
Emma Boggis, chief executive of the Sport and Recreation Alliance said: “Evidence shows that being active can help prevent mental health problems and help people to deal with them. This can be for everyone, whether participating at grassroots through to elite level. We encourage more organisations and current supporters of the Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation to demonstrate their backing and increase momentum behind mental health sport and physical activity programmes.”
PPF chief executive Simon Taylor added that when sportspeople talked about mental health “it helps to break down some of the stigma that millions of people face every day”.
“Sport is a great way to promote mental health for everyone,” he said.
Source: Leisure Opportunities