Our Community Sport Hub Officers conducted a Covid-19 survey in May 2020 on behalf of Live Life Aberdeenshire.
The survey sought to gain an understanding of the issues and concerns that clubs and groups faced with the ongoing epidemic. It was clear that many local clubs have faced huge challenges during the current crisis whilst others were coping well. Some of the responses highlighted the need for additional mental health support.
Follow up communication to the clubs identified 40 individuals that were interested in upskilling through a virtual Mental Health First Aid course.
Through a local provider we were able to offer 'Understanding Mental Health in the Workplace Level 2', a regulated and nationally recognised qualification.
The course is specifically designed to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of common mental health conditions and how best to offer support and guidance to colleagues. We were able to offer free spaces to clubs associated with local hubs via our activation funding allocation.
Across the end of 2020 and the opening months of 2021, 41 sport club representatives from across Aberdeenshire completed the training.
Feedback from the participants rated the content between very good and excellent. The training intended to increase confidence and skills within our local clubs to work with individuals suffering from mental health issues.
We are now exploring options for projects to strengthen pathways between our clubs and targeted mental health groups, increasing participation levels through a Changing Lives approach.
We are currently working to create a partnership between the hubs and SAMH.
Through our work with the NGBs, the Scottish Rugby Union have intimated that clubs will be encouraged to identify Wellbeing Officers as a result of attending the training.
This is an approach that we will attempt to replicate across other sports clubs that have been involved. There’s potential for level 3 training to be offered locally in the future, specifically targeting club wellbeing officers.