LOCAL running club Redditch STARS have made a major investment in their mental health provision thanks to 11 members qualifying as mental health first aiders.
The courses, delivered by Mental Health England and paid for by a grant from England Athletics and through club funds, means the Stars will be able to offer support and signposting for those struggling with their mental health.
This latest investment takes the number of mental heath first aiders at the club to 13 and the aim is that at least one will be present at each of the 11 sessions that the club run.
The idea for the course came from club chair Mark Churchill who is keen to offer support to those struggling in these testing times.
A club spokesperson said the mental health first aiders won’t be there to diagnose people but to be someone to listen to people’s concerns and issues and signpost them to organisations that can offer help and advice.
The club follows the guidance from mental health charity MIND in wanting to get people talking about mental health and removing the stigma many attach ot it by providing support and guidance and help raise awareness.
It is aims to support people experiencing mental health problems to be physically active through running.
The club supports Run Togethers RunAndTalk sessions and also RunAnd Revise aimed at 16-25 year olds who are at school, college or university, encouraging them to take a break from revision and relieve exam stress by going for a run.
It has been shown that one of the best therapies is exercise and the club is always open to new members from the age of six upwards.
Membership fees for this year have also been halved to help those laid off or furloughed.
More information can be found at www.redditchstars.co.uk