Over three quarters of organisations cite Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation as influential in creating culture change towards mental health

Signatories of the Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation have reported an encouraging change in how their organisation thinks and talks about mental health.

Over three quarters (78%) of Charter signatories said that since signing up there has been a positive culture change in their organisation about being more inclusive towards mental health.

80% of signatories also reported that from the time they committed to the Charter, staff, volunteers and participants in their organisation feel more open about discussing mental health.

Today, as the Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation celebrates its second anniversary at the London Aquatics Centre on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, in partnership with the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) and Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL), the steering group[1] is urging more sport and recreation organisations to commit to the Charter and benefit from creating a more inclusive culture.

Tracey Crouch, Minister for Sport, said:Participating in sport and physical activity can have a huge benefit to a person's mental wellbeing as well as their physical health. This is why we made mental health one of the key outcomes of the government's sports strategy with public funding made available to projects that can deliver on this front.’

"The Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation complements our work and is supporting organisations in the sector to implement projects that benefit people across the country. I encourage any organisation not already a signatory to sign up to the Charter."

Established by the Sport and Recreation Alliance, the Professional Players Federation and Mind in 2015, the Charter works to provide sport and recreation organisations with best practice so that they can make a positive difference to mental ill health. To date, 260 organisations have signed up to the Charter and committed to make their activities more open and accessible to everyone, including those with mental health problems.

Charter signatory, the Rugby Players’ Association recently launched the #LiftTheWeight campaign which aims to remove the stigma surrounding mental health by sharing the stories of teammates and peers. #LiftTheWeight is an example of the positive action Charter signatories are taking to create a greater understanding of mental health and use the collective power of sport and recreation to promote positive mental wellbeing.

The steering group of the Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation said: “The Charter was established to bring sport and recreation organisations together to tackle the stigma that surrounds mental health. Sport and recreation has a responsibility to challenge this stigma and we will continue to keep working with organisations to help them put in place good mental health practice.’

“We’re delighted to welcome our most recent signatories of the Charter, LLDC and GLL and are very grateful to them for providing us with this fantastic venue to celebrate the two-year anniversary. It’s brilliant that volunteers from Motivate East, which offers health and physical activity projects in seven East London boroughs surrounding the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, could come along and help us celebrate by hosting a game of Boccia.’

“We must continue to raise the profile of sport and recreation’s role in helping to promote positive mental wellbeing and as a group, we will continue to support meaningful programmes that cater to the needs of all groups within our society.


Further details about the Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation can be found here

For more information please contact Thea Rogerson on 020 7976 3933


Notes to Editors

Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation

  • The Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation uses the power of sport and recreation to promote mental wellbeing through physical activity.
  • The steering group is the Sport and Recreation Alliance, Mind and the Professional Players Federation
  • The Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation works to provide best practice so that sport and recreation can make a positive difference to mental ill health and break down the stigma that surrounds it. 
  • There are currently 260 signatories of the Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation
  • Find out who has signed up to the Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation here
  • At the second anniversary event of the Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation, seven signatories of the Charter including the: World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA), British Canoeing, Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA), Active Devon, Parkour UK, Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) and the Rugby Players' Association (RPA), showcased the work they have been doing to make their organisation more inclusive towards mental health.

About the Research

  • The research referenced in this press release is based on a survey carried out by the Charter steering group who interviewed a total of 56 signatories of the Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation between 13 and 23 March 2017.

More information about the Sport and Recreation Alliance 

  • The Sport and Recreation Alliance believes that the power of sport and recreation can change lives and bring communities together. Together with our members and in partnership with the wider sector, we make the most of opportunities and tackle the areas that provide a challenge. We provide advice, support and guidance to our members and the sector, who represent traditional governing bodies of games and sport, county sports partnerships, outdoor recreation, water pursuits, and movement and dance exercise. As the voice of the sector, we work with Government, policy makers and the media to make sure the grassroots sport and recreation grows and thrives. Having an active nation is important as it delivers huge benefits to society and the millions of participants, volunteers, staff and spectators. 

More information about the Professional Players Federation

  • The Professional Players Federation is the representative body for twelve different player associations based in the United Kingdom. Through the members we represent more than 15,000 professional sportsmen and women.
  • For more information please contact Simon Taylor, Chief Executive on 07726 627422

More information about Mind

  • We’re Mind, the mental health charity. We provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. We campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding. We won't give up until everyone experiencing a mental health problem gets both support and respect. www.mind.org.uk
  • Please note that Mind is not an acronym and should be set in title case.
  • Mind has a confidential information and support line, Mind Infoline, available on 0300 123 3393 (lines open 9am - 6pm, Monday – Friday)
  • Contact Mind’s Media Team for interviews or further information on 0208 522 1743. For out of hours support, call 07850 788 514 or email media@mind.org.uk.
  • To access to a range of free images to accompany mental health news stories, visit: www.time-to-change.org.uk/getthepicture. These images have been developed by Time to Change, the campaign to change how we all think and act about mental health problems. Time to Change is led by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, and funded by the Department of Health, Comic Relief and the Big Lottery Fund.

More information about GLL/Better

  • Established in 1993, GLL is the largest UK-based charitable social enterprise delivering leisure, health and community services. Under the consumer facing brand Better, the organisation operates more than 300 public sport and leisure centres and 88 libraries in partnership with more than 50 local councils, public agencies and sporting organisations. Better leisure facilities enjoy 44 million visitors a year and have more than 650,000 members.

  • GLL exists to make community services and spaces better for everyone. In practice, that means investing all profits back into providing quality leisure and fitness facilities for the good of the communities where GLL operates. Alongside the organisation’s core leisure and library divisions, GLL runs sport and legacy development, health intervention and education, as well as offering the GLL Sports Foundation, one of the largest independent support programmes for talented young athletes in the UK.

More information about LLDC

  • Spread across 560 acres of stunning parklands, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is home to beautifully landscaped gardens, historic waterways, famous sporting venues, a vibrant arts and events programme and the ArcelorMittal Orbit visitor attraction. 
  • Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park opened in April 2014 following the 18 month transformation programme of the London 2012 Olympic Park. It is now home to six former Olympic and Paralympic venues, the Copper Box Arena, Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, Lee Valley VeloPark, London Aquatics Centre and London Stadium where visitors can take part in sport, enjoy watching world class athletes compete or experience concerts or arts and culture events. Visitors can also enjoy a birds-eye view of the Park from the two viewing platforms of the ArcelorMittal Orbit, the UK’s tallest sculpture, before experiencing an exhilarating ride on The Slide, the world’s tallest and longest tunnel slide. 
  • As the new heart of east London, the Park is still transforming and will soon provide future homes, jobs and an unrivalled education and cultural district housing Sadler’s Wells, V&A East, UAL’s London College of Fashion and UCL East. 
  • The London Legacy Development Corporation promotes and delivers physical, social, economic and environmental regeneration in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the surrounding area by maximising the legacy of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
  • For more information visit our website (QueenElizabethOlympicPark.co.uk), sign up to our e-newsletter (QueenElizabethOlympicPark.co.uk/subscribe), follow us on Twitter (@noordinarypark) and like us on Facebook (facebook.com/QueenElizabethOlympicPark)

[1] The Mental Health Charter Steering Group consists of the Sport and Recreation Alliance, the Professional Players Federation and Mind.