Explore our work in sports
At the Mental Health Foundation, we've been working through sport to help support good mental health. Our work has particularly focused on supporting sports organisations who invest in communities at higher risk of developing mental ill-health.
We have harnessed our expertise to create guides, workshops, training and mentoring to equip a broad range of organisations. Our work focuses on training those who work with young people at risk, this includes:
- Trauma-informed relationship training
- ‘Head in the Game’ mentoring programme
- Water break top tips
- Organisational consultancy
Organisations we've worked with:
Bloomsbury Football, Cardiff City FC Community Foundation, Chelsea Foundation, Fulham FC Foundation, LooseHeadz, Premier League Charitable Fund, Premiership Rugby Hitz Program, The RFU (Rugby Football Union), Wales Netball and Wolverhampton Wanderers Foundation.
Trauma-informed relationship training
Our trauma-informed relationship training is an engaging, practical and evidence-based course, aimed specially at sport staff who might work with children and young people who've experienced trauma. The training helps staff members to:
- understand trauma and its impact
- recognise the signs of trauma in people they work with
- intervene through the use of self
- prevent retraumatisation, and
- take care of themselves.
We deliver two types of courses for trauma-informed relationship training. To see some of the impact of our training watch the video below.
Intro: Creating Safe Spaces in a Sport Context
3-hour long course introducing participants to key concepts in Creating Safe Spaces in a Sport Context.
Longer-term: Creating Safe Spaces in a Sport Context
14 hours, split across in person and online sessions over approximately 4 months. This enables an organisation to develop their culture alongside the course, and measure the training impact.
‘Head in the Game’ mentoring programme
Between 2021 and 2023, we worked alongside Cardiff City FC Community Foundation (CCCF) to support them in building upon their existing mentoring work to develop the ‘Head in the Game’ project. This project allowed CCCF mentors to support young people with their wellbeing. The project has successfully delivered targeted one-to-one mentoring work and group sessions, to young people aged 8 to 25, who have been referred internally and from organisations such as schools, colleges and Youth Justice services.
We are now piloting a mentoring resource more widely across the whole organisation, enabling more staff to have the opportunity from other departments and more young people to benefit. The staff are provided with training and the resource which we have developed together. Please [email protected] if you’d be interested utilising a young people’s mentoring programme in your sport for development work.
Water break top tips
We have developed 10-minute practical and fun psychoeducation activities which can be used as a part of a sport or activity session. These water break activities are particularly beneficial for participants where short and engaging input is most impactful.
These resources have been used successfully with people whose second language is English and young people who are not in education, employment or training.
These activities include topics such as recognising and managing emotions, talking to people we trust, and sleep.
Organisational consultancy and staff mentoring
We have worked with sport organisations working in the community to equip and encourage staff both collectively and individually as they deliver mental health and wellbeing programmes. This support has varied from bespoke evidence-based resources, to facilitating staff meetings and mentoring* staff.
*this is not clinical supervision.
Programme Delivery Manager - Premiership Rugby
“I was impressed with how the Mental Health Foundation combined mental health knowledge and trauma-informed practice within the context of rugby to ensure the course was relevant for the needs of our staff.”
Ellie Crabb, Inclusion and Disability Senior Officer - Chelsea FC Foundation
"Working with the Mental Health Foundation has been an incredibly rewarding experience, from planning to delivery the care and attention to detail that goes into their work is outstanding."
Participant - Premier League Charitable Fund Course 2023
"This is the best training I have ever been on. I have been recommending it to other colleagues and organisations.”
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