There is a strong link between sport and mental well-being. This is why Scottish Rugby is passionate in raising awareness of mental well-being, and breaking any negative stigmas which might exist around mental health.
In our society, there is still a stigma surrounding mental health. There is often a fear around talking about mental health and how we feel.
Scottish Rugby has launched a new Mental Wellbeing E-Learning Course to equip players, coaches and volunteers with the tools and techniques they need to effectively support themselves and other in the rugby community, and kick misconceptions surrounding mental wellbeing into touch.
This free course is comprised of a series of modules, questions and case studies, and concludes by sign-posting users to a range of support lines and other mental wellbeing organisations, including Breathing Space, who launched their partnership with Scottish Rugby in October 2019.
Scottish Rugby designed the course in collaboration with health professionals including Chief Medical Officer Dr James Robson, Dr Katy Stewart from the Hampden Sports Clinic, although with guidance from the Scottish FA, who recently created a similar resource for coaches.
The course is also supported by G4S, Official Stewarding Partner to Scottish Rugby, Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow Warriors. G4S firmly believe that sport can play a powerful role in being the catalyst to improving the quality of life for young people in communities across Scotland.
The course takes approximately 30 minutes to complete and is accessible on all internet enabled devices, including smart phones and tablets.
Scottish Rugby has partnered with Breathing Space, a free, confidential phone service for anyone in Scotland, experiencing low mood, anxiety or depression. It’s operated by NHS 24 and can be contacted on 0800 838 587. You can find more information by contacting Breathing Space here.
Should your club be interested in promoting Breathing Space, with training bibs or banners, or hosting a workshop to raise awareness around mental well-being, please email Rugby Development with details of your club.
What have our clubs been doing?
Highland Rugby Club in Inverness shared their ‘It’s ok not to be ok’ video. Players shared their own challenges with mental health and the benefit sport can play in their lives. The club was overwhelmed by the social media uptake and the positive comments received.
“Nobody is immune to mental health, everyone struggles. So we want to be proactive in preventing mental health problems by creating an environment where everyone feels they can talk and ask for help. 90% of our rugby club has nothing to do with rugby.” Iain Chisholm, Rugby Development Officer, Highland Rugby Club.
GHA are already engaging with Breathing Space to provide help and advice for anyone in the club needing assistance with mental well-being. Breathing Space ran a session with their senior squads to break down barriers.
“Our philosophy at GHA is to provide the best support we can for all our players and those involved in all aspects of our club on and off the pitch. The club is more than the team and we want to promote positive health and wellbeing for all in the GHA family and community,” said Stuart Lang, the club’s vice-president.