How the Alliance is putting mental wellbeing at its heart

Workplace wellbeing (Sport and Recreation Alliance)

How is the Alliance working to make sure mental wellbeing is at the centre of the organisation? Alex Wilkinson, Office and HR Manager, at the Sport and Recreation Alliance explains more.  

The Alliance is working to put staff mental and physical wellbeing at the centre of the culture of the organisation.  

We have taken a proactive look at our existing approach to the mental wellbeing of our staff and considered how we can build on this, to continue working towards a culture of openness at the Alliance.  

I believe the sport and recreation sector has made significant steps towards making sure that staff feel that their mental wellbeing is a priority.  

But there is, and will always be room to improve in any organisation. So, I would like to encourage you to think through your organisation’s approach to staff physical and mental wellbeing.  

The Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation is a useful tool to guide our work. It has helped many organisations in our sector, including the Alliance, increase understanding and awareness about how mental health impacts all of us.  

We know that sport and physical activity can play a positive role in helping people to have good mental wellbeing. But there is also a need to make sure that the working environment promotes open conversations and there is support available when staff members are struggling.  

According to Thriving at work, the Stevenson and Farmer review of mental health and employees in the UK commissioned by the Prime Minister, the annual cost to employers of poor mental health is between £33 billion and £42 billion.  

Focusing on staff mental wellbeing has business value. Making sure we have an engaged and enthused team will help make our organisations fit for the future.  

Our approach to building on our mental health support 

  • Taking stock of what we already have in place;  
  • Using the recommendations of Thriving at work – the report outlined a mental health core standard for organisations and a set of more ambitious enhanced standards; 
  • Consulting with colleagues across the organisation to get feedback and encourage ideas;  
  • Making sure that our objectives are clear so that staff recognise how this approach helps them;  
  • Putting visual reminders of our approach to mental wellbeing around the office.  

Building on our existing approach for supporting staff with their mental wellbeing has been a team effort. It’s been important to make sure that all staff feel engaged, whether by introducing our Mental Health Action Plan to staff groups or discussing in our staff meetings.  

It’s been a positive process and one I believe will impact all staff at the Alliance. The hard work is now in making sure that our Mental Health Action Plan contributes towards making our working environment a space for open conversations about mental health.  

If you have questions about our approach or the Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation head to our website which is full of guidance and resources.