Mental health and wellbeing

Runners with a sunset in the background

Being involved with athletics and running, whether as a volunteer or participant can have a positive impact on mental health and wellbeing of a person. 

According to the department of health being active can reduce the risk of depression by up to 30%, boost your mood and improve self-esteem. In addition, it can help to reduce stress and help people think more clearly.  

People may join the sport with good mental health, but overtime experience poor mental health.  If you are experiencing mental health and wellbeing problems or know of someone who is struggling, there are a variety of place to go for support.


SamaritansProvides confidential, non-judgemental 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. 

Mind infolineMind 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 has around 140 local Minds providing local mental health services. 

Rethink Mental Illness advice lineProvides expert advice and information to people with mental health problems and those who care for them, as well as giving help to health professionals, employers and staff. Rethink also runs Rethink services and groups across England and Northern Ireland. 

SanelineSaneline is a national mental health helpline providing information and support to people with mental health problems and those who support them. 

The MixThe Mix provides judgement-free information and support to young people aged 13-25 on a range of issues including mental health problems. Young people can access the The Mix’s support via phone, email, peer to peer and counselling services. 

ChildLineChildLine 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 SideSide 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. 

Beat Eating Disorders. Provides support for people with eating orders. They also support family and friends, equipping them with essential skills and advice, so they can help their loved ones recover whilst also looking after their own mental health. 

Refuge National Domestic Abuse Helpline. Provides a helpline and support to help victims of domestic abuse.

Health conditions 

A persons wellbeing may also be affected by long term health conditions.  These charities offer specific support for those conditions: 

Supporting others 

If you are concerned for the immediate safety of someone please call 999.   

You should encourage them to seek help through their GP, family, friends and support services. 

Guidance on supporting someone with their mental health can be found on the Mind website.