In September this year, Sport Wales commissioned Mental Health Foundation to conduct a Scoping Study on ‘Sport for Mental Health and Wellbeing’.  The Vision for Sport in Wales and the Sport Wales Strategy place emphasis on supporting everyone to have the opportunity to participate in sport.  We know that poor mental health is becoming an increasing concern in Wales and is prioritised as an area for action by Welsh Government.

Evidence tells us that those with poor mental health are participating in no and little physical activity on a regular basis, therefore, increasing activity levels will have a positive effect on improving mental health and wellbeing.  This presents Sport Wales, and their partners, with opportunities to engage new partners and showcase the benefits and contribution that sport can make to such an important area of health improvement and supports the wellbeing of future generations.

The key objectives of the study are:

  • To understand the current scope of work currently being undertaken within Wales in developing and utilising sport for better mental health in Wales, and the key agencies involved.
  • Aligned to the Sport Wales Strategy, to identify what is the potential for a greater impact, and to make recommendations on the optimum future role for Sport Wales in this regard.

In support of achieving the above objectives, the study will consider:

  • the relationship between sport and mental health, with reference to the mental health continuum, from community to elite sport;
  • the opportunities to utilise sport for mental health improvement in Wales;
  • evidence of the impact of any other approaches e.g. Home Nations Sports Councils, other countries etc., together with any key learning to inform Sport Wales future approach;
  • what resources and training opportunities are available to support organisations who want to develop sport for mental health improvement;
  • how could developing a focus on sport for mental health contribute to national policy outcomes.

As part of the Scoping Study, which began in September 2019 and will conclude at the end of January 2020, we are keen to engage with partners from across sport organisations and mental health organisations; involving stakeholders in Wales is important to ensure that experiences and views are captured and used to inform the work.   To do this, a survey has been developed and is being shared as widely as possible – we would be very grateful if you could take some time to complete the survey which can be accessed at https://fs11.formsite.com/p7vL8J/0wfolpoktm/index.html.

The deadline for completion is the 10th December 2019.

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