This week is Mental Health week, and the university has been running loads of fantastic events to help get students who suffer from mental illness the chance to get involved in sports in judgement-free environments.
But despite the success of the event, anyone who has a mental illness, or knows somebody who does, will know that mental illness isn’t just for a week – it affects you all year round.
Luckily, there are a number of fantastic charities in the Reading area which are working hard to help students and others who suffer from mental illness by encouraging them to get involved in sport.
One such charity is Sport in Mind, a Berkshire based charity which was founded in 2009 by Neil Harris. Harris’s friend Jamie suffered from crippling depression, so he devised a programme of sport to aid his friend’s recovery, and inspired a charity which has gone on to help thousands who suffer from mental illness.
The charity runs sessions in football, table tennis, yoga, tai chi, badminton, walking, and jogging, running fun, weekly drop-in sessions available all year round. Sessions take place all over Berkshire so there is always something going on and always something for people to get involved in.
Activities are delivered by qualified instructors and are open to all abilities. Sport in Mind provide all the equipment needed to take part so all participants need to do is wear comfortable clothing and pop down to the sessions!
Students who want to get involved with volunteering for the charity can do so through a placement scheme with the university, or on their own by visiting the Sport in Mind website (sportinmind.org) and signing up. Volunteering for the charity also counts towards your RED Award, and we at the Spark firmly believe that as far as volunteering goes, you can do a lot worse than playing badminton for an hour a week.
The sessions are open to all, including students, so if you suffer from any kind of mental illness but want to get involved in some sport, you can get involved and participate in some sessions by visiting the Sport in Mind website.
Anybody who has any questions or would like to get in touch with the charity should email Laura at firstname.lastname@example.org.