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Mental Health and Movement

One of the most important things we can do to help protect our mental health is regular movement. Our bodies and our minds are connected. Looking after ourselves physically also helps us prevent problems with our mental health.

While many people struggle to move enough, this often isn’t the case in the horseracing industry, with the majority of stud, stable and racecourse staff having physically active jobs. Having a healthy mind and body is vital for all however, and there’s plenty of ideas to help you both at work and at home, including these:

Manage Stress

Are you feeling stressed? You may be experiencing stress due to work commitments or issues in your personal life. Physically demanding jobs, early starts and long and/or antisocial hours synonymous with the racing industry may add to your stress levels.

There are ways you can manage your stress and we are here to offer you support and advice.

Tips For Managing Anxiety

Racing’s people share their top tips for managing anxiety.

I previously suffered with anxiety and panic attacks brought on by post-natal depression.  At the time learning about anxiety and panic attacks and teaching myself to meditate were the only things that really helped.  This enabled me to take control of my breathing, helped me to relax, focus and stay grounded – Simone Sear, Racing Welfare

I was told to keep a diary. Writing down how the day had gone, how my anxiety levels were each day was a big help and something I’d highly recommend – Tom Stanley, Racing TV Broadcaster

When anxiety comes knocking, I invite it in and give it a makeover. I transform it into excitement, an emotion that equips me with the enthusiasm and optimism I need to tackle the situation – Lindsey Pearce, The Jockey Club

Remember what is strong, not what is wrong – when people are anxious they tend to focus on what personal resources they don’t have to deal with their situation. We have to work really hard at such times to remind ourselves of our strengths, how we have overcome in the past, and the joy we bring to others to counter the psychological effects of anxiety – Dr. Will McConn-Palfreman, Sport & Exercise Psychologist

I’ve recently started to feel really anxious when riding. Regular sessions of hypnotherapy and mindfulness are helping me overcome the fear as, ultimately, this is a pastime that I really don’t want to lose from my life! – Lucinda Gould, Racing Welfare

Whenever I feel anxious, I step outside and immerse myself in nature – it’s the ultimate mindfulness activity! Whether I hop on my bike or go for a walk, I relish in the beauty of the great outdoors and make sure to ditch my phone – Hayley Lees, Jockey Club Estates

The below film has been created by staff at the BHA and shows Harriet Rochester (Campaign and Digital Manager); David Jones (BHA Board Member) and Kate Freeman (Project Manager) sharing their tips to help manage anxiety.

For more tips head to the Mental Health Foundation’s website or contact Racing’s Support Line to speak to a trained counsellor.

Free gambling awareness workshops

People working in sport are four times more likely to be impacted by gambling related harm.

The impact of problem gambling is far reaching and the addiction often does not exist in isolation. Gambling addiction impacts a person’s overall wellbeing, and the wellbeing of those around them, and may be linked to other physical or mental health challenges.

Racing Welfare are working with EPIC Risk Management to raise awareness of, minimise and ultimately prevent gambling-related harm through a programme of high-impact, educational workshops. Those attending a workshop will:

  • Hear powerful stories from those with lived experience of problem gambling
  • Learn to recognise the signs that you or someone you know could be struggling with a gambling addiction
  • Learn effective management and control measures
  • Find out what support is available to those within our industry

Workshops are free of charge to people working within the horseracing industry and can be arranged at a workplace upon request.

Watch the video to find out what to expect from an EPIC gambling harm awareness workshop.

If you’re interested in attending a workshop or arranging one for your workplace, please contact:

Liam Dyche | Senior Programme Manager at EPIC Risk Management
e: ldyche@epicriskmanagement.com
w: www.epicriskmanagement.com
m: 07923 056861


Loneliness is affecting more and more of us in the UK and we know this can have a huge impact on our physical and mental health.

In 2022 the Campaign to End Loneliness reported that almost 50% of adults in the UK felt lonely occasionally, sometimes, often or always; and 7.1% of people (3.83 million) experienced chronic loneliness, meaning they feel lonely ‘often or always’. This has risen from 6% in 2020, indicating that there has not been a return to pre-pandemic levels.


(Source: BBC, 2018)

Our connection to other people and our community is fundamental to protecting our mental health and Racing Welfare is here to help you tackle feelings of loneliness or social isolation.

Mental Health Courses

We all know how important it is to take care of our physical wellbeing. However, it’s also vital that we look after our mental wellbeing. If you’re feeling low, sad or stressed then racing welfare can help in a variety of ways.

Racing Welfare is committed to ensuring that racing’s workforce can access mental health and wellbeing support services when required, free of charge and without lengthy waiting lists.  All of our welfare officers have received mental health first aid training or will do so within their first year in post.  They are able to provide information and advice to people regarding mental health support and counselling options.


We run two types of mental health courses, a half-day awareness course and a two-day first aid course.

A MHFAider® as equally as important as a Physical Health First Aider – the two are entwined together and affect each other.  Therefore it is crucial we have someone in every workplace to spot the early warning signs and symptoms of mental ill-health and to have the confidence to start up what could potentially be a lifesaving conversation.  Be proactive and make sure you have someone that could help save lives!


Benefits of becoming a MHFAider®:


  • Understanding the meaning of Mental Health and the factors that affect our wellbeing.
  • Able to spot the common early warning signs and symptoms of mental ill health and start up a conversation.
  • Confidence to approach someone in distress and support
  • Following the pandemic, mental health training has never been more important.
  • Enhance interpersonal skills such as non-judgement listening
  • Understand how to look after your own wellbeing, especially when supporting others.
  • Training reduces stigma, increases confidence in assisting someone with a mental health issue.
  • Supporting someone in recovery.
  • Build resilience in the workplace
  • Mental health is a growing concern and is indicated that one in four of us are likely to experience a mental health issue each year, which is likely to impact on our ability to work. Mental ill health is the single largest cause of disability in the UK, with the cost of mental illness to the economy estimated at around £105 billion annually (Department of Health). This includes direct costs of services, lost productivity at work and reduced quality of life.
  • One of the most effective ways to reduce costs is through ensuring that your workplace has recognised accredited mental health training.


As a parent or guardian working in the racing industry, we understand that it can be a real challenge to find good quality childcare to fit in with your working life.  You are your child’s most important carer, and it’s what you and your children do together at home that is most important in giving them the best start in life. Care from friends, grandparents and other relatives plays a vital role too.

There are a range of choices out there, from nursery schools to pre-schools to child-minders.

Domestic Violence

What is Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between adults who are or have been in an intimate relationship, marriage or family relationship, regardless of gender or sexuality.

Domestic violence can happen to anyone. Noticing and acknowledging the warning signs and symptoms of domestic violence and abuse is the first step to ending it.  No one should live in fear of the person they love.  If you recognise yourself or someone you know in the following warning signs and descriptions of abuse, don’t hesitate to reach out. There is help available.

Funeral Plans

A funeral has different meanings for different people. It is an opportunity to say goodbye to the person who has died and to mourn their loss. It can also be an occasion to celebrate their life and express thankfulness for them. Some people leave a written record or have told family or friends what arrangements they would prefer for their funeral. They may also have had a pre-paid funeral plan in place. If this is the case, the process of arranging the funeral is a little simpler.

However, if you are unsure of their wishes, there are a range of decisions you will need to make, from deciding on the type of funeral and location through to the choice of music and readings.