AoC Sport teams up with StreetGames to offer Mental Health pilot project

The subject of mental health, especially among young people, has been a hot topic of late – and one which AoC Sport is starting to address in colleges through a series of projects.

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Prime Minister Theresa May this week spoke of the “burning injustice of mental health and inadequate treatment” at the Charity Commission annual meeting at the Royal Society in London.

However, she only spoke of addressing the topic – through projects such as mental health first aid training – in schools, admitting there are ‘no plans for FE establishments at this point’.

Fortunately AoC Sport, as part of a project with StreetGames, is already addressing mental health of students through a pilot project called ‘Impacting mental health and wellbeing through sport and activity’.

There is evidence available which demonstrates the positive impact that sport and physical activity has on mental health and wellbeing, and this project will therefore see a range of programmes delivered to both FE and HE students at Tyne Metropolitan College, measuring the impact of sport and activity on students’ mental wellbeing.

Four specific target groups have been identified for this project, including: Inactive female students, students on courses where behaviour and attitude is an issue, students with identified poor mental health and wellbeing, and disabled participants.

All of the programmes run at the college will use the Mental Wellbeing Impact Assessment (MWIA) tool to identify changes and demonstrate the impact of the project.

In addition to this pilot project, AoC Sport is preparing to organise mental health first aid workshops for colleges to attend, delivered by StreetGames. The workshops are still in the planning stage but at least one will run in each of the North, Midlands and South.

More details on these workshops will be available on the AoC Sport website in due course.

In November last year AoC Sport, in partnership with the Association of Colleges Employment, Services and Policy team, launched a paper to promote mental health and wellbeing among college staff members.

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