Warwick Sport receives funding for mental health and well-being support

It will allow free yoga, aerobic and resistance classes each week across campus

Warwick Sport has been awarded funding from Sport England for a programme supporting those suffering with mental health problems, as part of their new strategy to launch a Physical Activity Referral Programme.

Dedicated to anyone who wants to prevent as well as treat initial signs of mental health concerns, four classes for staff and four for students are being run on campus for free each week. The programme began on Monday 16th January with a series of free mental health and well-being classes open to staff and students.

Classes last between 30-45mins and are designed to improve mood, resilience and coping abilities and reduce stress, through a variety of classes from calming and restorative mind-body movement to stress-busting lightweight resistance training. The classes available to students are:

  • Resistance to Stress (Friday 9.00-9.45)
  • Combat Lethargy (Tuesday 11.00-11.45)
  • Yoga for Study Performance (Monday 17:00 – 17:4)
  • Mind Body Movement (Wednesday 16.00-16.45)

All classes are located on accessible spots across campus such as the Library and Rootes building.

Second year student Emily Ferguson said: “As a student who suffers with depression, I think that it’s so important that the university provides more initiatives to help support students with mental health issues. It is a huge problem and the classes provided by Warwick Sport will help students feel more comfortable with seeking help. This is certainly a step in the right direction.”

Mental health issues have become a growing problem amongst students and academics, with a recent survey indicating 63 per cent of students experience stress or anxiety which interferes with day to day life, whilst 71 per cent  reported that the main source of stress was university work (YouGov, 2016).

Warwick Sport recognises the importance of having an active, healthy population and says it has “a vision of having the most active University campus community in the UK, with everyone active every day, by 2020”. As part of this Warwick Sport aims to facilitate accessible participation in sport and activity to as many students and staff as possible.

This Outreach project is only the first step in Warwick’s new Mental Health and Wellbeing programme. The second, the Physical Activity Referral programme, is currently in trial mode. A group of students who have been identified based on particular criteria are enrolled for a three-month period, during which they will receive extensive support to engage in physical activity. After an evaluation phase which will identify changes and impact of the programme, more students will be able to benefit from the scheme. More details on this will follow once the trial has been completed.

Students can book on to classes and find out more here.