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14 January 2019

Racing Welfare launches industry-wide mental health survey in partnership with Liverpool John Moores University

The final phase of Racing Welfare’s mental health research project has been launched today in the form of an online survey, designed for everyone working in the racing industry to take part. 

The research is being undertaken by Will McConn of Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU), part funded by a grant from The Racing Foundation. The survey aspect has been specifically designed to allow anyone working in racing and Thoroughbred breeding to take part and it is hoped it will attract responses from all sectors of the industry.  The survey goes live today (14th of January) and can be accessed and completed online. The link for the survey is available on here and on our social channels and we will continue to publish the details throughout January and February.  All submissions are completely confidential and the survey will remain open until the 22ndFebruary.  The questions will take around 15 minutes to complete and it is hoped that as many people within racing will fill it out as possible.

Racing Welfare’s Director of Welfare, Simone Sear, said 

To have moved into this final stage of the research is really exciting.  We anticipate that Will’s conclusions will underline a number of positive practices happening in racing as it stands at the moment, in addition to providing evidence that will help us to evolve and refine Racing Welfare’s mental health and wellbeing services for the future.

The research seeks to explore the relationship between working in racing and a person’s mental wellbeing. Prior to this final stage of data collection, 130 individuals have participated so far through a series of interviews and focus groups across the UK. Those taking part included trainers, stable staff, jockeys, stud workers, racing secretaries, and representatives from various industry governing bodies.

The survey looks to expand on a number of themes that have arisen throughout the interview process and both LJMU and Racing Welfare hope to reach those who havenot been able to contribute so far.  The research perspective is neutral; that is, it seeks to establish an overview of mental wellbeing in the industry, encompassing thriving mental health right through to issues such issues associated with poor health such as low mood, stress and clinically diagnosed conditions.  The practical applications of the research findings will focus on the development of Racing Welfare’s mental health services, but also highlight and grow the many good practices that already exist within the industry. As such both Racing Welfare and LJMU would like to hear from everyone, regardless of where it is felt their mental health falls within the overall spectrum.

LMJU postgraduate researcher, Will McConn, said

We have been greatly pleased with the level of engagement we have encountered when undertaking the interview and focus group stage of the research and I very much hope that this continues into the final phase of the project.  The survey gives us an opportunity include everyone working in racing and I would ask that as many people as possible take part to express their own experiences and perspectives.

The final report will be available to the public from Monday the 13th of May, coinciding with the start of Mental Health Awareness Week 2019.