Mental Health and Wellbeing at MTC
MTC aims to support members with their physical and mental health. We already have a regular pattern of coached training sessions, training plans, workshops on racing, strength and conditioning and healthy eating. We would like to provide more support for mental health and wellbeing. As part of this, ten of our members have recently completed a Mental Health First Aid Course and have agreed to act as Mental Health Champions within the Club.
Our mental health and wellbeing has come more to the fore in recent times. In any one year, a significant proportion of the population (1 in 4) experiences mental health issues and these range, amongst other things, from anxiety, stress, low moods, depression and for some suicidal thoughts.
MTC has set up a space on the website to assist members who might find signposting for more mental health and wellbeing support useful. There are also some links to short articles by athletes who use sport and recreation to help manage their mental health and wellbeing. The webpage includes an article by a MTC member who previously encountered work related stress and how they devised a strategy to better manage this.
- Runners World (2017) – For Depression and Anxiety, Running is a Unique Therapy (Scott Douglas)
- Nine Essential Steps to Protect Your Mental Health
- Mind (2018) – Understanding Mental Health Problems
- Royal Team Talk – BBC
- I Love Manchester (2019) – The best places to seek mental health support in Manchester
- Connected Coaches advice page
- Behind the Mask – Molly Weaver Blog
To assist in providing a more supportive environment, a small team of MTC members has recently undertaken mental health first aid training. The team has put together the material for this webpage and a member of the team would be available if you would value an informal chat in complete confidence. If this would be of interest please contact the MTC Welfare Officer – [email protected].
Around six years ago, in the depths of mid winter, I went through a really bad patch of work related stress that led to anxiety and sleep deprivation. I had a difficult member of staff in the team I managed and a contract with a local authority client went badly wrong. At the worst point of the episode, I suffered a mild panic attack, one evening.
Determined to address the issue, I was able to share some of this story at work and received a degree of understanding and support from my line manager. A friend who was also a mental health professional made me aware of Headspace.com which provides excellent support in terms managing stress and regaining good sleep through mindfulness and meditation. At the time it was early January and my friend also recommended weekday lunchtime walks ‘ come wind, rain or shine’ to access fresh air, daylight and perspective.
I was a MTC member at the time and continued modest attendance at the club sessions. Slowly but surely I regained a sense of equilibrium and my normal sleep pattern eventually returned.
I still experience work related stress and anxiety, from time to time, but I am better at spotting the signs now and address these by ‘talking it out’ with close friends or even with a professional on occasion. My Christian faith helps too.
A regular pattern of exercise is in my daily routine …. off-road bike to work, swim & run training with MTC and off-road running at the weekend. The winter M’cr & District cross country series has been a highlight and is always a great target for the deepest winter months (when we might face low mood) and a great afternoon out.