Moray MH Accreditation 2

Mental health accredited

Sports coaches in Moray complete new mental health accreditation

A Mental Health Accreditation Scheme for Physical Activity has been created in Moray with 11 sports coaches the first to go through the programme.

The accreditation scheme has been delivered in partnership with Moray Wellbeing Hub, a community-led organisations that aims to challenge stigma, support recovery and empower people to live mentally healthy lives across Moray.

Coaches from Moray Mountain Bike Club, Moray Table Tennis Club, Badminton Moray, Elgin Duellist Fencing Club, Forres Bluefins Swimming Club, Elgin Sports Community Trust and Walking Football groups in Elgin and Buckie were among those to go through the training, with workshops delivered over a six-month period.

The scheme aims to give sports coaches a basic level of training and provide skills and knowledge to make them more confident in what they should and shouldn’t do or say when supporting participants in their clubs with regards to mental health and wellbeing.

The scheme was made possible through funding from the Community Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund administered by tsiMORAY, a local charity and Third Sector interface.

Heidi Tweedi, Champion & Director of the Moray Wellbeing Hub said: “Moray Wellbeing Hub collaborated with the Moray Council’s Community Sport hub team to deliver a tailored programme of five mental health and well-being workshops over a six-month period. The course syllabus covered mental health first aid training, suicide prevention and trauma informed approaches.”

Roy McPherson, Principal Active Schools & Community Sport Officer said: “As many as 1 in 4 people experience a mental health problem at some point in their lifetime.

"Local sports club coaches are often the first to be aware that one of their club members are feeling anxious or depressed, so coaches have an important role in supporting wellbeing and mental health in Moray and this is why this award is so important.”

The coaches were presented with their certificates for completing the course during the Cooper Park Wellbeing Festival which was being run by Moray Wellbeing Hub in partnership with the Moray Council’s Community Sport Hub and Active Schools team, and Library services.

Among the wellbeing festivals activities were street football delivered by the Active Schools team, and come and try sessions from Quasar Hockey Club and Elgin Duellist Fencing Club.

One of the coaches receiving their certificate was Robbie Hope from Elgin Community Sports Trust. As Director of Operations, Robbie oversees Active Recovery Moray football sessions at Borough Briggs.

Robbie said: “Being presented with this certificate is very timely since it coincides with the 100th football session we have held at the Gleaner Arena since the Active Recovery Project was established in May 2022.

“Through a shared passion for football, our sessions aim to build trust, hope and connectedness by bringing together anyone who feels marginalized or excluded by society. This may often be young people who have lived experience of care or of people in recovery and accessing addiction services. I’m delighted that one of our main volunteers Jonathan Mitchell, who has been involved in Active Recovery Moray since day one, has also received his certificate following the completion of the workshops. Jonathan’s passion and personal commitment to supporting people improve their mental wellbeing has been a major success in us reaching this 100 session milestone.”

The wellbeing festival also marked the launch of the Mental and Physical Activity Pathway, a new online resource for anyone who wants to access Moray based sports clubs that are committed to supporting good mental health and wellbeing.

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