BHA honours commitment to help tackle mental health problems in racing

23 Feb 2017 Education/Training Welfare

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has today reaffirmed its commitment to tackling mental health problems in sport by announcing the appointment of the mental health charity Mind as an advisory body to assist the sport achieving its commitments to the Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation.

Image result for mind logo

The BHA has also pledged its support to the national #InYourCorner campaign , run by Time to Change, designed to improve attitudes towards mental health, especially among men under the age of 45.

The BHA, alongside Racing Welfare, joined the Professional Jockeys Association (PJA) as signatories to the mental health charter in May 2016. The charter was developed by the Sport and Recreation Alliance and the Professional Players Federation with the support of Mind and Time to Change in 2015. It aims to create a welcoming, inclusive and positive environment for everyone to participate in sport and recreation, encourage people to talk about mental health and support people to seek help and support when needed.

The BHA is pleased to announce that Mind will be working together with the BHA to ensure that the BHA actively meets its obligations to the charter. This includes supporting the mental health and wellbeing of staff through delivering mental health awareness training, supporting the BHA to deliver workplace wellbeing events and activities and reaching out to local communities through linking BHA with the local Mind network to deliver events and activities.

Moreover, the BHA will raise awareness of mental health and reduce stigma and discrimination through working with Time to Change to promote the “#InYourCorner” campaign which launches nationally today, 23 February.

The #InYourCorner campaign wants people to understand that being in a mate’s corner can make a big difference if they’re experiencing a mental health problem, and that there are simple things we can all do, such as reaching out by text or phone, listening without judging and being yourself and not changing with that person.

Matt Mancini, Welfare Development Manager for the BHA, said:

“The life of a jockey or racing groom can be tough. There are unique challenges that come with it. But we want everyone in racing to understand that they are not alone. You are surrounded by people who might be sharing your challenges or who can provide help and advice. This is why the #InYourCorner campaign is so relevant to racing, and why we will be giving it our full support.

“I’m also delighted that we will be working with Mind to deliver on the promises we made when we signed the Mental Health charter. Together we want to educate everyone involved in the sport about the support that is available to them, and that it is always the right thing to do to speak to someone if you think you need some help. We want to break down the stigma that is attached to mental health and tackle it head on, and it is pleasing that the mental and physical wellbeing of participants is one of the core areas that Government has confirmed that the forthcoming Levy replacement will contribute towards.”

Watch the #InYourCorner  campaign video:

Jo Loughran, Director of Operations at Time to Change, said:

“We’re delighted to be working with the BHA to improve attitudes towards mental health right across the horse racing community – jockeys, racing grooms and supporters. Our research clearly shows that mental health problems are just not on the radar for men so partnering with trusted organisations like the BHA is a great way to get our messages across.

“We know that men feel strongly about brotherhood and friendship and can play a vital role in looking out for their friends’ mental health and wellbeing. Our new campaign aims to show that being in your friend’s corner doesn’t have to be difficult or awkward. Breaking the cycle of men feeling unable to reach out has never been more urgent. We need to help men realise they can make a real difference, even change someone’s life.”

Speaking about their partnership with the BHA to deliver the commitments of the Mental health Charter, Hayley Jarvis, Community Programmes Manager for Mind, said:

“From the elite level down to grass roots – sport can be used to reduce stigma and encourage positive conversation about mental health, which is why we’re delighted to support the BHA’s commitment to the Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation.

“Sport brings people together. The benefits of physical activity for mental health and wellbeing are well known, and sport has been used to support people with mental health problems for some time. We are looking forward to working closely with the BHA to incorporate mental health into their strategy to make sport more accessible to people with mental health problems and use it as a force for social change.”

Dawn Goodfellow, Chief Executive of Racing Welfare, said:

“As a leading provider of mental health and wellbeing support services to British racing’s workforce, Racing Welfare is delighted to partner with the BHA and PJA on these exciting new initiatives.

“The importance of good mental health has moved up the agenda for employers as national campaigns gain momentum and raise awareness of the need for preventative support. Never has there been a more significant time for British racing to demonstrate its commitment to the wellbeing of its participants.

“Racing Welfare is dedicated to ensuring that everyone working in the racing and breeding industry is able to access support 24/7. The #InYourCorner campaign, MIND and the Mental Health in Sport Charter will help us achieve this together.

“Anyone employed or formerly employed in the racing and breeding industries can access confidential listening and counselling services free of charge via Racing’s Support Line on 0800 6300 443 or to find out more go to http://www.support.racingwelfare.co.uk/app/answers”.

Notes to Editors:

1. Racing Welfare provides a 24 hour support line which can be reached on:
24hr Helpline | 0800 6300 443 | www.support.racingwelfare.co.uk

2. About Time to Change

Time to Change is a growing movement of people changing how we all think and act about mental health problems. Its voice is stronger and louder thanks to funding by the Department of Health, Comic Relief and the Big Lottery Fund. The campaign is run by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, and thousands more organisations have joined to make change happen.

For more information go to www.time-to-change.org.uk.

3. About Mind

  • We’re Mind, the mental health charity. We provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. We campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding. We won’t give up until everyone experiencing a mental health problem gets both support and respect. www.mind.org.uk
  • Please note that Mind is not an acronym and should be set in title case.
  • Mind has a confidential information and support line, Mind Infoline, available on 0300 123 3393 (lines open 9am – 6pm, Monday – Friday)
  • Contact Mind’s Media Team for interviews or further information on 0208 522 1743. For out of hours support, call 07850 788 514 or email media@mind.org.uk.
  • To access to a range of free images to accompany mental health news stories, visit: www.time-to-change.org.uk/getthepicture. These images have been developed by Time to Change, the campaign to change how we all think and act about mental health problems. Time to Change is led by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, and funded by the Department of Health, Comic Relief and the Big Lottery Fund.

4. The six core areas of the Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation are:

  • Use the sport to promote good mental health and wellbeing
  • Adopt good mental health policies and best practices
  • Appoint ambassadors and role models
  • Tackle discrimination on the grounds of mental health
  • Support a pan-sport platform to develop and share resources and best practice
  • Regular monitoring of our performance