Active Cumbria sign Mental Health Charter

May 8, 2017

As part of Mental Health Awareness Week, we are delighted to announce that we have signed up to the Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation to confirm our commitment to raising awareness about mental health issues.

Richard Johnston, Active Cumbria’s Senior Manager (Operations) said:

“Physical activity and sport is a great way to improve physical fitness, boost confidence, improve social networks - reducing loneliness and isolation as well as helping combat low mood.

At the same time, mental ill health provides an obstacle to taking part; when you’re feeling down or genuinely not well due to mental ill health people lack confidence, energy and the desire to do anything.

As a county sports partnership we are tasked by Sport England to encourage people to be active; to do this, we must recognise the needs of people with mental health problems and make opportunities easy, welcoming and accessible. We have met many people who have undertaken amazing challenges to beat off the blues, but recognise that making that first step isn’t easy”

Colin Cox, Director of Public Health at Cumbria County Council said:

“Physical activity can boost mental wellbeing and help reduce social isolation, a risk factor for depression. The link between physical activity and depression is well established. 

I am delighted to see that Active Cumbria has taken this opportunity to sign up to the Charter and re-confirm their commitment”

The Charter outlines six actions that the sports and physical activity sector can take to help make mental health commonly understood and to help those in need. The actions are to:

  • use sport and recreation to promote wellbeing, with a focus on encouraging physical activity and social interaction for their contribution to good mental health
  • publicly promote and adopt good mental health policies and best practice within sports and recreational activities
  • promote positive public health messages using diverse role models and ambassadors to reduce the stigma attached to mental health problems
  • actively tackle discrimination on the grounds of mental health to ensure that everyone is treated with dignity and respect
  • support the establishment of a pan-sport platform to work closely with the mental health sector to develop and share networks, resources and best practice
  • regularly monitor performance, assess progress and take positive action on mental health issues.

 For more information about the charter see the Sport & Recreation Alliance website.