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Two-thirds of sports coaches ‘lack knowledge’ about mental health

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Around two-thirds of sports coaches are unable to sufficiently support the mental health needs of their participants, according Mind.

A survey conducted by the charity found that 65 per cent of coaches lacked knowledge about mental health.

As a result, Mind has developed its Mental Health Awareness for Sport and Physical Activity training, which it encourages all sports coaches to undertake.

The training has already been delivered at more than 150 sports clubs across England as part of Mind’s Sport England-funded Get Set to Go programme, which helps coaches understand the “common misconceptions” about mental health.

Mind has also appointed former boxing champion Duke McKenzie MBE as an ambassador. McKenzie – who lost his brother to suicide – will champion the benefits of physical activity for good mental health.

The former British featherweight champion said he was “determined to help sportspeople and coaches feel supported.”

“With Sport England’s estimated total of 3.1m people who have coaches sport in the last year, providing specialised support is more important than ever,” added McKenzie. “I believe this is the first vital step that all areas of the industry should partake in.”

Paul Farmer, Mind’s chief executive, said: “We’re delighted to have Duke’s continued support and are confident that his commitment to Mind and our programmes will strike a chord with coaches and sportspeople alike across the country and inspire them to start a conversation about mental health.”

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Around two-thirds of sports coaches are unable to sufficiently support the mental health needs of their participants, according Mind.
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Duke McKenzie MBE has been appointed as a Mind ambassador / Chris Ison/PA Archive/PA Images
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