Mental Health Awareness Week: 9th- 15th May 2022



Mental Health Awareness Week began 21 years ago and continues to raise awareness of this important topic. This year's Mental Health Awareness Week is 9th - 15th May. It's well known that there are many positive effects that climbing can bring to help mental health and we at NICAS are keen to help raise awareness of support and resources available both within our community and wider to further support people's mental health.

Mental Health Awareness Week 2022 resources


Mental Health AwarenessMental Health Foundation
The theme for Mental Health Awareness week from the MHF is "loneliness". Resources (including guides for loneliness at work, at school, as students, parents and in later life) are available on the MHF website. "One in four adults feel lonely some or all of the time. There’s no single cause and there’s no one solution. After all, we’re all different! But, the longer we feel lonely, the more we are at risk of mental health problems. Some people are also at higher risk of feeling lonely than others. For Mental Health Awareness Week this year, we're raising awareness of the impact of loneliness on our mental health and the practical steps we can take to address it."

The MHF have a helpful document which gives strategies for coping with loneliness here.

Mental Health UK
There are some great resources available on Mental Health UK's website to support Mental Health Awareness Week including activities, podcast, resources, and advice on tackling loneliness. They have a number of publications that support aspects of mental health including how to look after your mental health using exercise.

Mind
Mind's website has a number of videos of real life experiences and related advice. "We all experience and talk about mental health differently. But we aren’t always listened to. And we aren’t always represented. That's why, this Mental Health Awareness Week, we’re using spoken word to show the different ways people talk about their experiences." Mind have an Awareness in Sport training option that might be of interest to activity providers, which was developed with support from UK Coaching, and is designed for coaches, sport administrators, volunteers and front of house staff.

BBC
BBC "Own It" has a number of helpful resources curated. BBC Headspace also has many resources within a "mental health toolkit" to help people with their own mental health and the health of others. BBC Bitesize also a guide for parents, guardians and carers on helping children with their mental health.

Mental Health and NICAS


If you have stories to share with us we would love to hear from you. In 2021 we shared details of a Teenage Mental Health climbing project being run by ROKT Foundation in Brighouse which will use NICAS Level 1 as part of their initiative to help participants. Details here.

One of our NICAS Coach Development Team members, Juliet, talked last year about the anxieties of returning to wall after lockdown on her instagram page. There was uncertainty coming out of lockdown, both for her students and herself as a coach. Thanks for letting us share your experiences (nb: if you can see a picture but can't find the text on instagram, you may need to change the zoom settings on your browser as we discovered ourselves here!)

Urban Uprising is a charity which supports young people, they "use rock climbing to improve the physical, social and emotional wellbeing of 8 to 18 year olds who are experiencing disadvantage. We give young people the chance to experience the transformational personal change that climbing can bring." We are proud that the NICAS Scheme is followed by some of these young people in supporting these aims. Find out more about the charity here.

Resources, stories and information in our sector


Climb Alongside Mental Health
Resources, stories and support for using climbing to help mental health is available on the CAM website. Climbing walls are able to sign up to offer referred climbing sessions for people who referred via a healthcare professional e.g GP, therapist, counsellor. Look out and support CAM on social media channels too. #WeveGotYouSpotted #CAMclimbing

Blackdog Outdoors
There are lots of useful resources on the Blackdog Outdoors website. "The effects of outdoor activities can include stress reduction, improved mood, improved self-esteem and improved health and general well-being. The real challenge lies in promoting the idea of “green exercise” to those that will benefit from it, providing opportunities for those people to take up outdoor activities, and to support and encourage them as they set out on their individual adventures. We have established Blackdog Outdoors to provide this service." (source: Blackdog Outdoors)

Sport and Recreation Alliance
The SRA has a mental health charter and offers various support and training to members. Some useful information can be found on their website including organisations that can help businesses and individuals, training including mental health first aid, and other topics.

Sport England
"Being physically active can improve mood, decrease the chance of depression and anxiety and lead to a better and more balanced lifestyle." A number of resources and details on how Sport England supports the sector can be accessed here.

If you have a story or information to share to support mental health and in particular use of climbing as mental health support, please contact us.





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