Supporting mental health

If you, or anyone in your club, organisation or group, are experiencing mental health problems or need support then there are lots of places you can go to for help.

Support services

The Mental Health Foundation

The Mental Health Foundation provides advice on how to look after your mental health including ten practical ideas such as keeping active, eating well and talking about your feelings.

Mind Infoline

Mind provides confidential mental health information services. With support and understanding, Mind enables people to make informed choices. The Infoline gives information on types of mental distress, where to get help, drug treatments, alternative therapies and advocacy. Mind also has a network of nearly 200 local Mind associations providing local services.


Samaritans provide confidential, non-judgmental emotional support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those that could lead to suicide. You can phone, email, write a letter or in most cases talk to someone face to face.

Headspace – weathering the storm

Free access to some of the Headspace app. It includes meditations, sleep, and movement exercises to help you out, however you’re feeling. It’s our small way of helping you find some space and kindness for yourself and those around you.

Recovery College – coping during the pandemic

The Recovery College offers a free online course for everyone in response to the recent global Coronavirus pandemic. Plus anyone anywhere can access the other 30+ courses on the site by creating a free account.


childline is a private and confidential service for children and young people up to the age of nineteen. You can contact a ChildLine counsellor for free about anything no problem is too big or too small.

Side by Side

Side by Side is a supportive online community where you can be yourself. We all know what it’s like to struggle sometimes, and this is a safe place to listen, share and be heard. Our “Being active” theme helps community members easily share and find content about being active, to motivate, inspire and support each other. To sign up you need an email address, username and to input your date of birth.

Mind’s Mental Health & Physical Activity Toolkit for providers

Mind has launched its Mental Health & Physical Activity Toolkit. It includes tools, templates & case studies to help sport, physical activity & mental health providers to support & engage people experiencing mental health problems.

Being active

Getting some fresh air and exercise is really important to support good mental health. Take time to get outside regularly for a walk or run or why not do circuits in the house or garden? Remember to keep yourself and others safe and make sure you follow government advice.

For visually impaired people who usually have the support of a guide to run, and cannot therefore run on their own, the impact on mental health may be even more significant. Our friends at British Blind Sport have resources for exercising at home.

Those at home with children can also view our our free videos of fun activities to do together, thanks to England Athletics’ funetics programme in order to help parents continue physical education for their children (aged 4-11) while at home.

Mind have also provided some guidance about staying active at home. Read Mind: How to Stay Active at Home.

Coronavirus and your wellbeing

You might be worried about coronavirus and how it could affect your life. This may include not being able to train with a group, being asked to stay at home or avoid other people. This might feel difficult or stressful. But there are lots of things you can try that could help your wellbeing. Access guidance from Mind, the Mental Health Charity about coronavirus and your wellbeing.

We also have a short document that you can download which includes useful information and contacts (PDF 165kB).

Keeping in touch

It’s important to stay connected and check in to see how people are doing. There are lots of different ways to stay in touch with other club and group members. Technology provides an opportunity for us all to support each other’s mental health. Share a funny picture or video, start a book club, have a virtual chat over a coffee or some cake. It also enables virtual group exercise sessions, club or group exercise challenges and so much more. We know that athletics and running clubs and groups are great at creating imaginative ways of doing things and now is the time to embrace that!

Here’s just some examples of what you could use:

  • Zoom – for video conferencing and webinars
  • Google Hangouts – chat conversation or video call
  • Skype – HD voice and video calling for one to one and group conversations
  • WhatsApp – group chat on your smart phone with options to share images and video
  • Strava*- an app for your smart phone where you can create virtual challenges to help keep people motivated

*For safety reasons please make sure you encourage all runners not to start/finish the Strava app outside their home address when tracking runs.