jogscotland leaders with I'm here badge

jogscotland reaches ‘major milestone’ in Mental Health Awareness

Over 1000 jog leaders complete training in partnership with SAMH

jogscotland has just announced that 1,018 of its jog leaders have now been trained in mental health awareness – at a time when they couldn’t be needed more. The online course for jog leaders, created with jogscotland’s partners SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health), has been available since 2017, and formed a key part of jogscotland’s commitment to SAMH’s Mental Health Charter for Physical Activity and Sport.

While jogscotland doesn’t expect their jog leaders to become counsellors, they are aware that many do provide a listening ear to their members. In order to make sure those jog leaders feel equipped to cope, and to help others find the support they need, everyone who now trains as a jog leader is invited to take the course when they’ve completed their Leader in Running Fitness (LiRF) qualification.

Since 2019, jog leaders who complete the module have received the ‘I’m Here’ badge, designed to let their groups know that they’re happy to have mental health conversations of all kinds. jogscotland development officer Jo Stevens said: “It’s an amazing number of jog leaders who have taken the time to develop their mental health awareness.

“When we launched the training module, we already knew our jog leaders were dedicated, but they’ve exceeded our expectations in how keen they’ve been to support their joggers’ mental wellbeing as well as their physical fitness."

She added, “It feels like there’s been a real sea change in the past few years. Mental health conversations are now the norm at many of our groups, which helps to break down fear and stigma, and encourages people to seek support when they need it. Letting people know that we all have mental health – sometimes  good, sometimes bad – and that it’s OK to talk about it, has strengthened our community."

SAMH physical activity and sport lead, Robert Nesbitt added: “It’s great to see so many jogscotland jog leaders complete their mental health awareness training. The enthusiasm the jog leaders have shown demonstrates that most people are happy to talk about mental wellbeing, and just need a little guidance and confidence to make those conversations part of everyday life. We’re grateful to all the jog leaders who have taken the course and are setting a great example to their joggers.”

Image couresy: jogscotland

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