GLOBAL SPORTS COMMUNITY MARKS WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY

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International Sports Federations (IFs) and GAISF Members marked World Mental Health Day this weekend with a wide variety of positive activations, digital campaigns and initiatives, all aimed at raising awareness of mental health issues at a time when it is more important than ever before.

World Mental Health Day is held annually on 10 October, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world.

The Badminton World Federation, for example, published a web story explaining how regular badminton sessions, and physical activity in general, can help release natural brain chemicals which enhance and improve mental health.

The International Rugby League also actively raised awareness during the day. The GAISF Observer published a video highlighting how 84 men take their own lives every week in the UK, with the number rising every year. The video encouraged men to change their approach to mental health and for anyone struggling to stand up and reach out.

Several IFs engaged their global fanbases via social media. World Lacrosse, for example, released an infographic detailing nine ways team leaders can check in with their team’s mental health.

Meanwhile, World Rowing supported the occasion by sharing scientific insights into the advantages of exercise on mental wellbeing, and encouraged rowing fans to visit the World Rowing Instagram page to share personal stories of how they look after their own mental health.

The International Luge FederationInternational Federation for Equestrian Sports and International Netball Federation posted photos and messages of inspiration to their communities, while the International Weightlifting Federation and International Masters Games Association asked their fans what activities they do to maintain their mental health.

Special Olympics promoted their Strong Minds Activity Guide and encouraged the Special Olympics Community to check out resources specifically developed to support athletes during the COVID-19 pandemic while promoting the health, safety and wellbeing of its community.

Finally, World Curling shared five pieces of advice for athletes on how to improve their wellbeing during the pandemic.

GAISF President Raffaele Chiulli said: “Billions of people around the world have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has presented significant challenges for people suffering with mental health issues.

“At GAISF, we recognise that, during this difficult time, people of all ages are experiencing greater social isolation than ever before. I would therefore like to congratulate our Members and the global sports community for mobilising efforts, in-person or digitally, in support of this year’s campaign goal to move for mental health.”