The Snowsport England #SNOWMoreStigma campaign is our mental health and wellbeing initiative, and we want you to get involved!
Positive mental health and wellbeing is just as important as physical health. Help us to stamp out shame and stigma in snowsport – your voice and your attitude to mental health matters so help us to create a powerful, positive culture of mental wellbeing.
We are all in this together | We all have mental health | We can all support each other
We want everyone participating in snowsport, of any age, to enjoy the sport and be supported in their snowsport activities. We know sport and exercise is good for us and can help promote positive mental health and wellbeing. Getting out and about, meeting other people and taking physical exercise can all help people to enjoy good mental health and help reduce the chances of people feeling isolated and getting into difficulties they can’t cope with on their own.
Sport also helps people learn a range of positive coping strategies so they can better deal with difficulties, by developing a young person’s resilience through positive coaching values, and can also help reduce anxiety and depression. As a club you can start introducing the topic and help reduce the stigma surrounding mental ill health. As a coach you may have team chats at the beginning or the end of sessions – don’t be afraid to talk about mental health and ill health.
Mental health refers to our emotional and psychological state, our social well–being and how we feel about ourselves and interact with others.
Mental health is not the same as mental illness, although poor mental health can lead to mental and physical illnesses. When we have good mental health, we are resilient, can handle life’s challenges and stresses, have meaningful relationships and make sound decisions. Mental health, like physical health, is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood and old age.
Being mentally healthy is influenced by life experiences, relationships with others, physical health and one’s environment. Just as people may experience physical problems over the course of their lives, they may also experience emotional or mental health problems that affect their thinking, mood and behaviours. This does not necessarily mean that a person who is going through a difficult time and is experiencing poor mental health has a mental illness. Feeling miserable and socially isolated are red flags that one’s mental health needs attention.
The benefits of improving one’s mental health are well worth the effort. Being mentally healthy helps you feel confident in your worth and abilities, accept your strengths and weaknesses, set realistic goals and create a sense of meaning and purpose in your life. Emotional health and mental health are closely intertwined, and both can positively or negatively impact physical health as well.
You are not alone. It’s good to talk. It’s OK to say you are Not OK.
How can our clubs help?
Particularly at the current time, with worries about Covid-19, many of us may be suffering from anxiety or depression and need a little extra support. Be tolerant if some of your younger members are moody, or their behaviour has changed or they are less committed.
If you are a coach, a club welfare officer or other person working in snowsport make sure you take the time to ask people how they are, listen to them, give them some support. If you think someone is acting differently, ask them twice: How are you? I’m OK, thanks. Are you really OK? Well….. Keep the chat positive and supportive. Keep your body language open and non-confrontational. Be empathetic and take them seriously. Ask them how they are feeling at the moment? How long have they felt like this? Who do they feel they can go to for support? Is anything in their personal life contributing to how they are feeling? Is there anything you can do to help? Offer support, not solutions; everyone is different. Make sure they know there are organisations that can help them (see below).
What Next? If they are a child, encourage them to talk to their parents or ask them if you can say something to their parents. Make sure you tell your Club Welfare Officer as you or the Club Welfare Officer need to pass on any concerns you have. Make sure you ask them how they are next time you see them. If they are an adult – let them know you are there for them and thinking of them. Signpost to organisations that can help (below). You can’t solve their problems but you can let them know you are supporting them.
If you are concerned for the immediate welfare of someone – call 999. If it is not a medical emergency but you still need urgent help – ring 111 for advice.
MIND has a lot of useful information on their website including types of mental health problems, helping someone else, blogs shared by people with mental health problems, information for young people.
There are lots of charities and organisations that can help too (see below).
- NHS 999 or 111 or go to your nearest A&E department.
- Samaritans – 24-hour national FREEPHONE number is 116 123 – even free for mobile phones which are out of credit
- Hub of Hope – website to find nearest sources of help near you – https://hubofhope.co.uk/
- Childline – 24-hour helpline children can call 0800 1111
- Mind – https://www.mind.org.uk/
- Young Minds (support for parents too) – https://youngminds.org.uk/