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HEALTH | Mental Health Awareness Week 2023 at RUCST

15 May 2023

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To mark national Mental Health Awareness Week (15 – 19 May 2023) we have launched a week long campaign to not only showcase the breadth of initiatives we deliver but also to shine a light on mental health within our community.

From delivering walking football, to coffee mornings to fitness sessions, we provide more than 10 specialised mental health sessions a week for the people of Rotherham.

Mental health support is at the heart of every single session that we provide, and we are passionate to make a real difference to people’s lives every single day.

We are proud to work with a range of partner organisations including Rotherham and Barnsley MIND, VAR and RDaSH to provide our participants with the most up-to-date advice and support.

We spoke to RUCST’s Health and Wellbeing Manager, Colan Leung.

He said: “Here at Rotherham United Community Sports Trust, the mental wellbeing of all those in our community is a huge priority for us. We are only too aware of the significant impact the events of the last couple of years and beyond have had and continue to have on the mental health of society.

“We continue to upskill our staff around mental health training so that they’re comfortable and confident in supporting the range of demographics we work with from children and young people to older people.

“One in four people will experience a mental health problem in any year with over 10% of the population living with depression at any one time. There are thousands of people across the country accessing community club organisations, right now, and we want to support as many people as we can in Rotherham.”

Physical activity can help in people’s recovery, help to manage symptoms and can radically improve the quality of people’s lives. There are three key ways that physical activity can help:

  • Delivering social inclusion
  • Promoting physical health
  • Improving mental health

Colan added: “Making friends, holding down a job, keeping fit, staying healthy are all normal parts of everyday life. But the stigma that surrounds mental health makes all of these things harder for people who live with mental-ill health.

“While attitudes to sexuality, ethnicity and other similar issues have improved over the years, people with poor mental health are still often treated unfairly. We believe we can help to break this isolation and include people more in everyday life and their communities within Rotherham.”

Mental Health Awareness Week campaign video

Thank you to our participants Jonny, Matt and Jacob who have kindly taken part in our mental health awareness short concept film to help raise awareness around some of the feelings of mental health and how taking part in exercise with the Trust has helped change their lives.

Watch mental health awareness week campaign video here.

Thank you to Tracey Ford of ‘Have a word with yourself’ ( who has kindly prepared her poem ‘Sharing is Caring’ to form part of the video.

RUCST Health and Wellbeing sessions in numbers

  • The RUCST deliver around 1,100 health and wellbeing sessions in a calendar year
  • Engage with roughly 300 participants every week through Health and Wellbeing sessions
  • We entered two mental health teams into two different mental health leagues (South Yorkshire
  • Ability Counts League and Sheffield and Hallamshire Flourish League) and we won them both
  • We have embedded staff into our health and wellbeing sessions into our weekly calendar as part of our rota
  • We have supported more than 60 referrals with phone calls, home visits and community sessions through our 1-2-1 social prescribing service
  • We have around 20 staff members who are now Mental Health First Aid Community Champions

Key mental health stats:

  • 1 in 4 people in the UK has experienced poor mental health
  • 1 in 6 people report experiencing poor common mental health (like anxiety and depression) in any given week in England
  • Evidence suggests there are five steps you can take to help improve your mental health and wellbeing, these are connect, be active, take notice, keep learning and give.

For more information about the mental health sessions that we provide please contact

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