Tackling Awareness of Mental HealthBy: Joe Donnelly Belfast
Community Sport Change Makers
The GOAL of this project is to inspire socail change in the sporting community and remove barriers and stigma surrounding mental wellbeing through leadership and the promotion of Partnership, Awareness, Coaching, Education (PACE).
This project will be delivered in North Belfast in Northern Ireland and will opertae within 10 clubs based in the most deprived areas New Lodge, Tigers Bay, Duncairn. This is a cross community project were 10 clubs catering to over 1000 young people will deliver targted themed projects via a Community Development Network.
To deliver the programme change makers are required; TAMHI will work with leading community partners who offer mental health support and learning and development support to create a supportive network for club leaders. Club leaders are better placed to deliver "key messages" and break down barriers.
Club leaders will be identified; £10,000 (£1,000 targted investment into each club) will be used for teh development of the leaders in terms of skills and knowledge and also to run targted programmes.
Tackling Awareness of Mental Health Issues is a charity set up to support the development of sport clubs/youth providers in terms of promoting Partnerships, Awareness, Coaching, and Education (PACE) with the underlining principle of safeguarding mental wellbeing.
I have worked with two teams St Patricks FC and Carnmoney FDC to develop the underlining principles and to get to a stage where I can roll this out to all clubs. I have carried out vast amounts of research and development and consulted with mental health charities and teams from across Northern Ireland and the IFA. I believe that the mentality of a young person can be influenced through sport/youth providers by leaders/role models.
There are a lot of projects out there that help people, but these are organisations that bring groups of young people together for a set period of time. TAMHI aims to go to the core of the community and use club leaders to drive social change, to inspire new ways of thinking and to get clubs/groups to take a step back and understand that if you branch out to groups in your community in whatever capacity that is reasonable you can add so much value to what you do.
I believe that there are 3 main environments for young people.
1. Home Life
2. School Life
3. Social Life (includes Sport)
I want to strengthen the social element by encouraging groups that provide social experiences to take steps to promote health, to promote learning and development and to think holistically about the impact they have on a young person.
Change Makers Development Forum
A typical community forum is a collective of groups sharing information about what they do and what they have done.
The Change Makers Development Forum will have a twist in the sense that a select number of club people will come together and talk about themed projects and will in turn be assisted with their personal development and TAMHI will help them source funding to run targeted themed projects with the sport/social experience at the heart of every project.
The Change Makers will be the legacy after the completion of the project term. The Change Makers will have the community support network in place to continue their work after the investment runs its course.
If TAMHI goes into a club and leaves there is no legacy, no key driver, no leader anymore, so progress will cease, however if TAMHI inspires a club person who has grown up in the culture of the club, then they will continue to drive change after TAMHI withdraws. Also club people know their clubs so will be better placed to deliver key messages due to their club connection.
Commitment to the Change Maker:
• Coaching Badges (this is the hook).
• Mentor qualification’s
• Mental Health First Aid.
• Youth Qualifications (if required).
• Club Development Courses. (if required) – TAMHI could do a lot of the paperwork side of things for clubs.
• Help with Clubmark / improving their club.
• Help with funding applications for targeted programmes. (great incentive – may be better placed to bid as a development forum than individual clubs due to the collection of issues being addressed).
• Key Skills (if required).
Roll of TAMHI
• Co-ordinate and manage the programme/development forum.
• Source funding for Change Makers Development/Programmes.
• Fully maximise use of community network.
• Showcase “Good News” and generate a Buzz to inspire other sports clubs.
• Provide Mentor Support to Change Makers.
• Act as a Community Sport Development Officer; assist with club development (business end), programme design, community engagement and increase participation in sport.
1. Create the support network: TAMHI, Aston Community Trust, Seaview, PIPS, Lighthouse, FASA, Youth Action NI and Bridge of Hope. Belfast Media Group/North Belfast News would be an excellent partner.
2. Select the clubs/Change Makers (the personal investment is the incentive and those that care about the club should buy in).
3. First Meeting – Discuss the purpose, talk about PACE. Issues that will determine the themes. Note TAMHI will put forward:
a. Mental Health/Sport Psychology (awareness, education, links with mental health groups, community visibility)
b. Drink & Drug Abuse
c. Employment & Learning (participants skill assessment, identification of NEETs, CV Building, pathways to employment, school leavers)
d. Crime Diversion
e. Good Relations
f. Leadership/Role Models/Mentors
4. Meetings will take place every 3-4 months (no point monthly). The Development Forum takes a theme (s), discuss a programme and how best it can delivered. Use the 3-4 month window to roll out a programme which TAMHI and community partners will engage in and be part of. Get the good news story out into the community to inspire change and showcase good work.
5. After the duration of every project we evaluate the impact, make videos to showcase the good work and we identify any weaknesses or issues, this will determine the value of an NI wide campaign and funding required.
Themed Project Ideas:
Mental Health Awareness:
• Creation of a Club information booklet/flyer: This will be given to younger participants parents i.e. U10, U11, U13: Make them aware that the club are taking the issue serious
• Mental Health Talk from local charity targeting older participants/coaches; informal but too the point
• Formal Training; Senior Committee with Junior Committee (I think this is vital, there should be discussion after about how to embed in the club)
• Review of Policies
• Event/Fundraiser; invite mental wellbeing group along to talk to those that attend and recognise the benefits of sport and the clubs commitment (could inspire new participants) (Use MEDIA to showcase clubs breaking down barriers and stigma; setting an example).
• Referral Pathway – Mental Wellbeing groups may have young people disengaged who could be filtered into the sport club with joint effort of club and mental wellbeing group.
• Drink & Drug Abuse Workshop can be linked in to this programme
Employment & Learning:
• Change maker to identify people in the club who may be NEET, signpost them to services in the community.
• Young Coaches/Mentors; CV building, key skills, IT skills.
• “Off School” period events/programmes i.e. sport in the morning with workshops around money management, filling out forms, future options etc – doubles up as intervention.
• Promotion of Volunteering – Volunteer Development for young people
Mental Wellbeing Groups
• Creative programme combining physical activity/sport with learning and development attached targeting youth who the mental wellbeing groups are working with.
• Crime Diversion / Leadership & Role Models / Good Relations can be built into the whole programme on a rolling bases. Host a few “4 Life” cross community events i.e. matches, tournaments, boxing fights etc.
• Hard Facts: participation numbers before & after
• People in training/employment before & after
• Success rates on course’s
• Understanding of “Signs” of poor mental health before & after
• Review of Networks & Usage of services
• Personal Case Studies/Project Reports
• Change Makers Testimonials
• Impact on young people’s development
• Increased Skilled Community Volunteers & Club Leaders.
• Connections & better communication channels with clubs to cascade key messages through/ripple effect.
• Social Collaboration & Community Engagement. If Groups are working with shared objectives, no matter what scale, I feel there is merit in this and value.
• Greater Awareness of Mental Health & Suicide. Breaking Down Barriers & Stigma.
• Greater Awareness of Social Issues and the impact of sport/youth service providers in dealing with this.
• Good News Stories about the impact of sport/youth service providers – inspire change and others to follow suit.
• The use of sport to mobilise hard-to-reach groups as part of large-scale health campaign.
Challenges & Observations
• Finding the right people (possibly speak with clubs directly and visit to see if anybody jumps out – there may be people who come recommended based on other community work)
• Commitment (The 3-4 month window is reasonable, these guys/girls will be at their clubs doing programmes anyway so buy in is attractive as they are not “away from club” for too long – this can be planned in advance.
• Volunteer Time: Training X Amount of Nights a week/Matches & Fights, it will be difficult. (the commitment to the personal development is attractive for the leader– if they care for the club and for themselves they will see this is a win-win; we invest in them and they invest in their clubs/community – also in regards to timing; were possible tie into existing routines & target off season periods i.e. Mid Term, Easter, Summer – ideal times to deliver programmes with key messages ties in with 3-4 month meetings).
What’s the alternative?
• Disjointed bidding for funds that will be invested in what groups do now under headings that attract investments, which results in projects with the lifespan of the investment; when the project money runs out the project stops, no real legacy.
• Mental Health Training being offered; people standing with their certificates; are these the people you want trained?, what impact did the training have? How was the learning applied?
• Groups being reactive to loss like TAMHI
Sports Coaches/Youth Leaders are front end service providers these are the guys you want drinking the key messages and changing the attitudes of young people. TAMHI gives help via structured engaging programmes that will give incentive to clubs to be proactive.
More details of work to date @ www.tamhifc.co.uk
No updates for this project yet.