The Mind West Midlands Physical Activity Network

Friday, 26 June, 2020

Sport Birmingham have partnered with the much loved and respected national charity Mind, to raise awareness, tackle mental health stigmas and support people with mental health problems to become more active.

Led by Sport Birmingham, in partnership with the five other WM Active Partnerships, the WMCA, Newman University, StreetGames, local Mind centres and other stakeholders, we are committed to working together to increase the number of service providers who are equipped with the skills to support and engage people with mental health problems in sport and physical activity.

We will do this through the new Mind WM Regional Network hub, by creating a platform for networking, shared learning and taking positive action to improve how we work together across sectors.

Over an 18 month period, each hub will aim to engage and support a minimum of 70 organisations in their region and upskill 160 people, such as coaches, volunteers and staff in mental health awareness.

We want to hear from you if you are an individual or organisation that would benefit from Mind's FREE Mental Health Awareness for Sport and Physical Activity (MHASPA) eLearning training or other mental health and inclusive workshops. You can view the range available training across the region here. Since January 2020, we have already issued 400 licences for the MHASPA training in the West Midlands! You can book directly onto this course via UK Coaching HERE.

In addition to the above, we want to create opportunities to come together in order to encourage co-production, share ideas, capture experiences and learn from one another in an open and inclusive environment.

While this is challenging given the current situation with COVID-19, we aim to stay connected and support one another to look after our mental and physical health in the months ahead. You can do this by following us on Twitter @MHtSport and keeping in touch with the programme nationally via #MindActiveNetwork. You can also send your enquiry to us directly via the following contact form.

Getting active at home and outdoors

Mind have developed a Get Active, Feel Good webpage providing some handy tips, resources and inspirational stories to help you stay active at home. You can access the webpage here.

Many of us are worrying about the current situation around coronavirus and how it might affect our lives. It's likely that we'll be working from home for longer periods of time to help keep us all safe during the coronavirus outbreak. Therefore, it's important we recognise how it may affect our mental health and ensure we are taking care of ourselves and our colleagues. You can access tips and support on this topic, here.

The West Midlands Combined Authority have recently launched Thrive at Home, a new recommended resource for employers, line managers and employees to help support the mental health & wellbeing of remote teams and homeworkers.

We also recommend practising relaxation and mindfulness to boost your mood. Follow an NHS yoga workout to improve strength and tackle stress, try this mindful breathing exercise from Every Mind Matters, and read hints and tips on mindfulness from the NHS.

How about you research the local walks you want to do, plan a new cycle route, or get the kids to make a list of new activities they'd like to try? Our friends at Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) have provided basic information about social distancing, local walking and cycling routes, bike safety and maintenance. You can explore this here.

Guidance on accessing green spaces safely can be read here.

Further information about staying healthy, active and well can be found on our dedicated Sport Birmingham COVID-19 response page.

Unsure about where to turn?

Birmingham Mind is the largest independent mental health charity providing services in and beyond the City of Birmingham's boundaries. You can get in touch with them here.

A new Mental Health Support offer is also now in place offering emotional help, guidance and reassurance to people in Birmingham and Solihull who may be finding the current Coronavirus situation overwhelming: Covid-19 Mental Health Support Offer for Birmingham and Solihull

If you cannot access the above support for any reason, the Hub of Hope is a mental health database that brings grassroots and national mental health services together in one place. It can be great to provide a stopgap whilst waiting for mental health services. Visit the page here to find nearby services.

How you can get involved

If you'd like to be part of this growing Mind Regional Network in the West Midlands or want to get in touch with us about accessing training and resources, Please complete this short online form