National sports centres give managers mental health training
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National sports centres give managers mental health training

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Mental wellbeing is a key area of work for Sport England and we're proud our centres are leading the way in giving people the tools to keep themselves and their colleagues healthy
– Charles Johnston, property director, Sport England

Elite sports centres Lilleshall, Bisham Abbey and the National Water Sports Centre have announced plans to rollout mental health training to all managers.

The training aims to create a culture of wellbeing for employees and athletes, helping them to spot signs and symptoms, as well as encouraging staff to start the conversation with anyone who may be experiencing a mental health issue.

Operator Serco Leisure has recruited trainer provider Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) to deliver skills and knowledge training to staff at Lilleshall National Sports and Conferencing Centre, in Shropshire, and Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre, in Berkshire, which it operates on behalf of Sport England.

‘First Responder’ and ‘Champions’ courses will be taken by duty, operations, general and team managers.

Training will also be provided at the National Water Sports Centre in Nottingham, which Serco operates on behalf of Holme Pierrepont Leisure Trust and Nottinghamshire County Council.

“As a society, we’re definitely getting better at talking about mental health, but there's still a long way to go, so we wanted to build our people’s skills and understanding in this important area,” said Steve Nelson, Serco partnership director for the national centres.

Jaan Madan, head of the client experience team at MHFA, said: “The training empowers individuals not only to support their own mental health but also to recognise signs and symptoms of mental ill health in others and guide them to further support, be that self-help or professional services.”

Sport England’s property director, Charles Johnston, added: “Mental wellbeing is a key area of work for Sport England and we're proud our centres are leading the way in giving people the tools to keep themselves and their colleagues healthy.”

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