Valuable training in mental health awareness and support has been delivered to 17 Lifestyle Consultants at leisure and fitness venues in East Lindsey.
All 17 staff, employed by Magna Vitae Trust for Leisure and Culture, recently attended the MIND ‘Mental Health Awareness for Sport and Physical Activity’ workshop.
They are now actively putting the training into practice at Meridian Leisure Centre, Louth; Horncastle Pool & Fitness Suite; Station Sports Centre, Mablethorpe and Skegness Pool & Fitness Suite.
Designed to help staff recognise the need to match physical activity training with an awareness of mental health issues, the course coached participants on how to best deal with a whole range of issues – from post-natal depression in new mums, to issues with low self-esteem and confidence. The training fully compliments the work of Magna Vitae’s Community Delivery Team.
Magna Vitae’s Lifestyle Partnerships Lead, Tracey Wilkinson, said: “The barriers that prevent people taking up physical activity vary, and the course is very much about raising awareness of those issues and how the staff team can offer help and support. It may just be about encouraging people to meet others, or for example, if they have a confidence issue, then advising them to attend a Centre when it is quiet or being there when they are able to offer additional support.
“The link between physical activity and improved mental health is very clear and this training helps our staff to further understand that,” she added.
In addition to managing the leisure venues, Magna Vitae has a strong community outreach arm, with successful programmes to support residents.
One of its most popular projects to-date is ‘Unordinary Ensemble’, which is funded to deliver a whole host of activities for those with mental health issues. Some of the attendees have already decided to become fitness suite and leisure centre members, after engaging with the Unordinary Ensemble programme.
According to the Centre for Mental Health, mental illness costs UK employers an estimated £34.9bn each year – the equivalent of £1,300 for every employee in the workforce.