How can you support your players’ mental health?

It is widely recognised that the pandemic has had a devastating impact upon mental health, with many people finding the latest lockdown much more difficult to cope with than previous ones.

In the most recent Young Minds survey (Jan-Feb 2021), 67% of young people aged 13-25 believe the pandemic will have long-term negative effects on their mental health. Anxiety, self-harm, panic attacks, and lack of motivation are all reported to be prevalent.

Further to this, pre-existing mental health problems are worsening, calls to Childline and other services have increased, and more young people are worrying about life after lockdown; Youth Sport Trust report that 73% of older children (16-19 year olds) are worried about the future, with 59% saying that their wellbeing is being affected.

These startling facts are often difficult to read, especially as a coach who will be supporting these young people now and over the coming months as sport returns.

Sport also offers its own mental health stressors that athletes are vulnerable to and each day players can experience a range of triggers and pressures within the sporting environment.

But how, as a coach, can you recognise the signs of mental ill health and offer appropriate help and support? Do you feel prepared and equipped to support your young players as lockdown eases?

MiMentor’s new course, Supporting the Mental Health of Your Players, is aimed at raising awareness of mental health and the impact it has in football, and society in general.

Co-designed by a multidisciplinary team of specialist mental health practitioners, performance psychologists and football coaches working in grassroots and academy settings, the course gives coaches a ‘mental health toolkit’ to help support their players and promote psychological strength. Especially important during the current climate.

The course examines many areas of mental health and how you as a coach can play a positive role in your club, while also helping players understand and develop a network of people close to them who they can lean on in difficult times.

Annual and monthly MiMentor subscribers can access this new course as part of their membership.

For subscribers, we are also creating a special ‘Mental Health Package’ in collaboration with our partners at Enigma Wellness whereby you can complete the one-day accredited Mental Health England ‘MHFA Champion’ programme for only £120.

This course is a recognised qualification and provides MHFA Champions with:

  • An understanding of common mental health issues
  • Knowledge and confidence to advocate for mental health awareness
  • Ability to spot the signs of mental ill health
  • Skills to support positive wellbeing

The one-day MHFA Champions course will be running online in July and August 2021.

To find out more about the MiMentor Mental Health offer, click here.

To subscribe to MiMentor on our monthly or annual packages, click here.