Is the sport and recreation sector thriving at work?

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300,000 people with a long-term mental health problem lose their jobs each year and analysis shows that poor mental health costs the UK economy between £74 billion and £99 billion a year. The cost to employers is between £33 billion and £42 billion of this number.

A guide to help the sport and recreation sector implement the Thriving at Work report has been launched by Mind, the Sport and Recreation Alliance and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, to mark Time to Talk Day. The guide is available to view here.

The report promotes best practice, offers advice on implementation and provides a framework in which to support the wellbeing of all employees.

The high-pressure environment of the sport and recreation sector brings its own issues and stresses. With funding, contracts and futures often relying on results, the burden can be amplified.

That is why it is so vital for organisations across the sector to acknowledge the importance of mental wellbeing.

Emma Boggis, CEO at the Sport and Recreation Alliance praised the release of the guide. She said: “The Alliance has long been a firm advocate of mental wellbeing. This resource, dedicated to sport and physical activity organisations, will help us all drive up the standards of support available within the sector.

“Through guidance like this and the Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation we aim to create a culture shift that removes the stigma around mental health.

“We want every employer in the sector, irrespective of size, to recognise their responsibilities and affect change, so that the UK becomes a world leader, in workplace wellbeing for all employees and in supporting people with mental health problems to thrive at work.”

Hayley Jarvis, Head of Physical Activity for Mind, added: “We know the power that sport has to change people’s lives, which is why we’re delighted to launch the ‘Thriving at Work for sport and physical activity sector’ guide.

“At the heart of the guide is a set of six core standards that we hope can bring about real change in the culture of workplace wellbeing throughout the sector. Mind has worked closely with organisations ranging from governing bodies, such as Sport England, to club-level, such as the EFL team Derby County FC, to draw together best practice examples, many of which are inexpensive, quick and easy to implement.

“We are calling on organisations across the sport and physical activity sector to take up the learnings of the Thriving at Work guide, share their own best-practice, and play their part in promoting workplace wellbeing among their staff.”

Mims Davies MP, Minister for Sport and Civil Society added: ““It is vital that everyone affected by mental health problems can find the support they need.

“I hope this toolkit serves as a powerful resource for those working within the sport and physical activity industry. We will continue to work closely with the sector to improve awareness and raise standards.”

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