24hr Support Line 0800 6300 443
10 May 2024

Mental Health Awareness Week

Racing Welfare will once again be leading the horseracing industry’s response to Mental Health Awareness Week in a bid to raise awareness of the importance of looking after our mental health.

Mental Health Awareness Week is an annual campaign encouraging people to come together to focus on creating a world with good mental health for all, created by the Mental Health Foundation. Taking place from 13-19 May, their chosen theme for this year’s event is: “Movement: Moving more for our mental health.” The benefits of being physically active are well documented, with 62% of adults agreeing that exercise helps them to manage their mental health, and those who participate in daily physical activity have a 30% lower risk of depression.

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. But even the most active of people can benefit from taking time away from their work environment to exercise in their own time where they can relax and focus on doing something for themselves.

To fit in with the ‘movement’ theme, Racing Welfare is encouraging workplaces to host a ‘big walk’ and wants to inspire everyone to step away from their routines, take a leisurely stroll and relax. Walking is proven to reduce stress and has a positive impact on both mental and physical wellbeing. Workplace walking can also be a sociable activity which has the added value of providing an opportunity to network with colleagues.

Dawn Goodfellow, chief executive at Racing Welfare is a huge advocate of the benefits of being physically active. She started with Couch to 5k at the end of 2022 and to date now has 65 Parkruns and the AJ Bell Great North Run under her belt. She said: “The benefits of being physically active for your mental health are well documented and evidenced, and personally I never feel better than when I’ve finished a 5k run on a high.

“I hope that everyone is able to make some time for themselves to be mindfully active away from work, make their mental health a priority as well as encouraging their colleagues, friends and family to do the same. Mental Health Awareness Week is a great opportunity to get people talking about mental health generally, normalise conversations about the topic and make people aware that there is support available for them if they need it.”

Racing Welfare has a range of information, advice and guidance resources, in addition to a 24/7 support line and a network of regional welfare officers. Anyone who needs support can contact Racing Welfare at any time on 0800 6300 443.

To find out more visit: www.racingwelfare.co.uk or www.mentalhealth.org