Signing up to Scotland’s Mental Health Charter
Scotland’s Mental Health Charter for Physical Activity and Sport is the charity SAMH’s latest programme with groups covering various sports and activities from rollerblading to basketball, yoga to walking football - all signing up to create positive lasting change in people’s mental wellbeing
Walking Football Scotland feels this is a major part in what we aim to deliver and are proud to make a commitment and create an action plan and strategy, enabling us to meet the needs of the Charter working with SAMH.
Many of our players feel the benefit in engaging and re-engaging in sport, walking football in particular is helping many connect and reconnect , making new friends, having something to aim for, the camaraderie, fitness and social activities all central to WFS and many of us share the positive stories in our groups and sessions across Scotland.
WFS Chairman Gary McLaughlin said: “Walking Football Scotland recognise the impact that physical activity and sport can have on our physical and mental health and our general wellbeing. Mental health and physical health should be of equal value, and we will raise awareness amongst our membership, partners and public to ensure equality is at the heart of what we do.”
Scotland’s Mental Health Charter for Physical Activity and Sport aims to improve equality and reduce discrimination for anyone with a mental health issue and to remove any and all barriers and allow participation for all.
It was with this in mind the WFS Board worked to achieve the requirements and were rewarded in June this year when the then Minister for Public Health and Sport Aileen Campbell was able to help us promote WFS commitment to signing up to the Charter.
Another first for the organisation saw Walking Football Scotland in August this year being one of the first 50 groups in the country to sign up to Scotland’s Mental Health Charter.
WFS was delighted to join SAMH in a celebration of their work in physical activity, sport and mental health in Glasgow (Friday August 10th) and complete the signing of the charter.
Over the course of the morning WFS chairman Gary McLaughlin had an opportunity to breakfast with SAMH friends and fellow signatories to the SAMH Mental Health Charter from across sport, business and health and to take part in a question and answer session with SAMH Ambassadors, Sir Chris Hoy and Adam Peaty, hosted by sports broadcaster Jill Douglas.
Sir Chris Hoy and Adam Peaty have joined forces with SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) and the Olympic stars are urging sports clubs across the country to encourage more people to get physically active to improve their mental wellbeing.
Sir Chris Hoy, SAMH ambassador, said: “Everyone should have the chance to get active and learn to use physical activity and sport to help live a happier, healthier life and we need to ensure funding is in place to deliver initiatives to support this.
“I myself have truly benefitted from the positive impact of physical activity and there should never be barriers to prevent anyone from getting active.
“SAMH is leading the way in Scotland ensuring sporting organisations and groups recognise the power of physical activity and encourage everyone to take part in their activities no matter who they are or what their personal struggle may be.”
WFS has signed up to the Mental Health Charter because it shares and believes in the Charter’s principal and is committed to preventing any barriers that stops any of Walking Football Scotland’s participants, friends, players and communities, engaging, participating and achieving their goals. The organisation aims to increase awareness by creating a deeper knowledge and understanding of Mental Health and Wellbeing for all. Everyone should have a social responsibility and this is core to Walking Football Scotland.
WFS intend to roll out the Charter and help our members understand more about mental health issues by using the advice from SAMH in e-learning and toolkit form and use the pathway for better understanding and support all participants of walking football.
Robert Nesbitt SAMH Head of Physical Activity and Sport said: “It was great that Walking Football Scotland could join us and looking forward to see you realise your Charter action plan and difference that it will make to breaking down the barriers to engaging, participating and achieving!”