World Mental Health Day guest blog by Nick Dann

I’m delighted and honoured to be working with Sporting Minds UK to spread awareness and be a force for change to create more positive mental health in sport. And what better way to be able to do this than by celebrating World Mental Health Day.

Indeed, it is possible that there has never been a more vital moment for the world to come together and recognise the importance of World Mental Health Day. As we are all aware, we are living in unprecedented times with Coronavirus having had such a substantial impact on all of our lives since March 2020. Now, as we head into winter, uncertainty continues to prevail.   Therefore it’s even more important for us to acknowledge World Mental Health Day and spread awareness and support to everyone in the UK, something which is particularly relevant since this year the theme for World Mental Health Day is ‘mental health for all’.

The sporting world is no exception to this, and that is why Sporting Minds UK is dedicated to helping athletes live happier lives. Sport psychology of course can also play a large role in this process, since it doesn’t always just have to focus on winning and performance. I genuinely believe that sport psychology can have a significant positive impact not only on the sporting lives of athletes, but also in their personal and everyday lives away from their sport.

Many of the skills that sport psychologists work on with their clients, such as motivation, concentration, stress management, emotional intelligence, self-confidence, sociability, people skills, creating a support system and setting goals and objectives are not just exclusive to the world of sport and performance. In actual fact, these are key skills that can help everyone to live a happier, more fulfilled life. They can be applied to everyday situations that we all face, and in doing so can help us to manage the stresses and fears that every single one of us experience.

With this in mind, I am currently volunteering with Sporting Minds UK to deliver presentations and talks free of charge on the benefits of sport psychology and positive mental health to any school, team, club, governing body or organisation that would like to organise one. Currently, due to the Covid-19 regulations, most of these talks have to be delivered online, but I am really hopeful that in the coming months the rules will start to relax and we can get back to connecting face-to-face. If you or your organisation would be interested in one of these talks, then please do get in touch with the charity and I would be delighted to make a plan and arrange one with you!

And If you’d also like to help Sporting Minds UK help others, then why not get involved in their First Anniversary fundraising Campaign in some way?  Please see https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/sportingmindsuk

Nick Dann, Volunteer with Sporting Minds UK

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