Racing Welfare has today announced plans for their 2021 Mental Health Awareness Week campaign, beginning on Monday 10th May. The charity leads the racing industry’s response to the national initiative which is run by the Mental Health Foundation and which this year follows the theme of Nature.
Mental Health Awareness Week aims to highlight the importance of thinking about your own wellbeing as well as those around you and also aims to promote open conversations on all aspects of mental health. Racing Welfare’s campaign also raises awareness of the mental health services offered by the charity, which have only become more important during the pandemic.
Racing Welfare has seen first hand the effect of Covid-19 on the mental health of the industry’s workforce and by the end of 2020, there had been a 153% year on year increase in the Mental Health Support they offered. Calls to Racing’s Support Line for mental health issues were the top call type for the year, seeing a 22% increase from 2019 and grants provided for mental health treatment increased by 99% in 2020.
Tying into the Mental Health Foundation’s theme of Nature, Racing Welfare will be delivering a digital campaign throughout the week highlighting the importance of engaging with the natural world to benefit your mental health. A new video, produced in conjunction with Equine Productions and the staff at Andrew Balding’s Kingsclere training operation, will also be released.
Racing Welfare’s campaign will also be highlighting the important Industry Wellbeing Survey that closes on Sunday 16th May. The survey, which was recently launched by the Industry Wellbeing Committee, is setting out to compile crucial baseline data on the wellbeing of the sport’s entire workforce. The results of the survey will be fundamental in enabling real improvement in the health and wellbeing of racing’s people going forward, by informing the wellbeing strategy and the kind of support which will be provided to employers and employees alike. Anyone working in any role within the industry can fill out the survey here: https://horseracingindustry.gooddayatwork.co.uk/Login.aspx. Everyone who completes the survey will also receive their own 15 page personalised wellbeing report.
Racing Welfare’s Chief Executive, Dawn Goodfellow, said: “Mental Health Awareness Week is a hugely important campaign for us and the industry as a whole and we are proud to lead the initiative on behalf of racing again this year. I hope that the week raises awareness of the help available through Racing Welfare and that anyone in need of support feels able to get in touch with us.
“I would encourage everyone who works in the sport to complete the Industry Wellbeing Survey. This is a fantastic opportunity to have your say and shape the future of workplaces right across the industry.”
Racing Welfare is the only charity that supports all of racing’s people – including stud, stable and racecourse staff, alongside those working in associated professions – from their recruitment right through into retirement. The charity provides a wide range of advice and guidance services, all of which are completely confidential and non-judgmental. Support is available for a wide range of life’s challenges, including physical health, mental health, bereavement, careers advice, housing, money advice, illness, addiction, relationships and retirement. Racing Welfare’s services are nationally accessible with offices in all of the main racing centres and roving Welfare Officers covering the whole of the country.
The charity owns 164 units of accommodation across the UK, with a focus on providing housing for young people working in racing and those who have retired from the industry which are managed by its housing arm, Racing Homes.
Racing’s Support Line, a multi-channel support platform, allows people to contact the charity online as well as through a 24hr telephone line.
Racing’s Support Line: 0800 6300 443
Online self-help resources: www.support.racingwelfare.co.uk