This article comes fresh off the back of Racing Welfare’s Mental Health Awareness Week campaign, which gained support from stakeholders across the industry and led to several open conversations about mental health and the importance of looking after our own, and each other’s wellbeing.
With one in four people affected, mental health awareness must not be confined to one week in the year – it is a concept we need to embrace and embed into our working culture 365 days of the year. Racing Welfare is working hard to achieve this through its programme of Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England accredited training courses.
The charity runs heavily subsidised Mental Health First Aid and Mental Health Awareness courses up and down the country, both online and in-person. Usually priced at £300 for the two-day first aid training, and £125 for the half-day awareness course, those working in the racing and breeding industries can book for just £80 and £30 respectively.
Courses are heavily subsidised thanks to the fundraising efforts of Simon Jones. Simon tragically lost his son Tim to suicide in 2019, at the age of just 17. Tim was a popular member of the horseracing community and a member of the team at Micky Hammond’s training yard in Middleham, North Yorkshire. Since the tragedy, Simon has taken on various fundraising challenges to support Racing Welfare’s Mental Health First Aid courses, raising more than £25,000 to date.
Racing Welfare’s vision is to have a Mental Health First Aider in every workplace in the horseracing industry. A Mental Health First Aider is trained to recognise the early warning signs and symptoms of a person struggling with their mental health. The training also helps individuals build confidence to start up a conversation, offer support and, if appropriate, signpost to professional help.
But it’s not only those affected by tragedy that have recognised the importance of mental health first aid training. Speaking to Racing TV’s Gordon Brown during Mental Health Awareness Week Kinross-based trainer Lucinda Russell said:
This just leaves one final question: would you know how to spot the signs that someone is struggling with their mental health?
Find out more and book Racing Welfare’s mental health training courses here.
Support Simon Jones on his epic seven marathon challenge and help support mental health across the horseracing industry at: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/simon-jones-marathon-challenge