Hi I am Yvette (Ladies Club Captain) I am excited to let you all know that I have been accepted as a Mental Health Ambassador for the Sneyd Striders. This is a fantastic opportunity to further strengthen our togetherness and continue to be a welcoming, supportive and inclusive club.
The programme was launched by England Athletics in 2016, in partnership with mental health charity Mind. By establishing a support network of ambassadors in running groups and affiliated clubs in England; it aims to encourage those experiencing mental health issues to begin, return to or continue running, using running as a positive tool to improve mental wellbeing. As an ambassador I will aim support both new and existing club members.
Part of the programme is the #runandtalk campaign. Improving mental wellbeing through running by:
With 1 in 4 people in the UK experiencing a mental health problem each year, this is an alarming statistic and I am one of those 1 in 4, which is why I believe this is a fantastic programme. Some of you may know that I have anxiety and mild depression and so I felt it really important to apply for this role to be able to give back support and encourage us to talk about issues. For me, running is such a fun and positive experience but can be hindered by negative body image, feeling unable to socialise, being misunderstood and having feelings of failure. Of course, as we all do, I still have bad running days but the great ones outweigh them and being part of a club is so motivational.
As runners we definitely know the positive effect that physical activity has on our body and mind but having mental health problems can certainly make it difficult to get out there. This is where the support network kicks in and where we make sure that Sneyd Striders continues to provide a safe and encouraging atmosphere. Just knowing that there is someone to talk to and someone who understands can make a huge difference to those of us experiencing mental health problems. I hope that as an ambassador I can make others feel positive and supported.