Conducted throughout 2018 and the beginning of 2019, the industry-wide research undertaken by the team at Liverpool John Moores University looked at the relationship between working in racing and mental health, and covered every profession in the industry, including both core and associate roles. The findings are categorised into job sectors spanning each aspect of the sport and themes raised include both the positive and negative aspects of working in racing in terms of how they impact on the mental health of each cohort.
The report offers a number of actions for the industry to take forward, outlining both generic priority recommendations and those specific to different groups within the industry. It states the importance of the racing industry not engaging in mental health issues for moral or paternalistic reasons alone, although this position is a starting point. Moreover, that the industry needs to be aware of the impact that mental health has on the individuals involved, of the economic and productive fallout from poor or ill health, and also the legislative requirement to tackle issues in a robust and proactive manner. Crucially, the report states that mental health requires a long term strategic approach to ensure all individuals working in racing are provided with the greatest capacity to enjoy and thrive through their work.
Dawn Goodfellow, Chief Executive of Racing Welfare, said
The Executive Summary and the full report are available here.
The announcement of the research findings marks the start of Mental Health Awareness Week, a national initiative organised by the Mental Health Foundation which runs from 13th – 19th May. As per 2018, Racing Welfare will lead racing’s response to the campaign, which looks to break down the stigma associated with mental health and encourage those who may be struggling to seek help.