The Belgravia Foundation, in partnership with Belgravia Leisure, has announced a joint project to roll out free Mental Health Training to all Belgravia Leisure employees in Australia and New Zealand. The free online training program, developed in the United Kingdom by UK Coaching, Mind and 1st4Sport, is available worldwide to every person in the health and fitness industry until the 31st of August.
The impact of COVID-19 has affected every industry in Australia and New Zealand, but the leisure and fitness industry could be considered amongst the most affected by government-mandated lockdowns and closures. The Belgravia Foundation has actively looked for ways to support the mental health of employees within the health and leisure industry and the local communities in which they serve.
In mid-August, all of Belgravia Leisure’s employees were encouraged to enrol in the online Mental Health Awareness Training Program. The aim of the program is to provide practical skills and strategies for employees to:
- Build people’s resilience, self-esteem and confidence
- Adapt facilities and programs to make them more inclusive
- Enable and support mental health recovery
- Tackle stigma and discrimination
Associate Professor Jeff Walkley, CEO of Belgravia Foundation, said, “With the growing uncertainty and extended COVID-19 restrictions in Australia and New Zealand, we felt it was important that the employees at Belgravia Leisure were equipped with the tools to support their own mental health and their local communities.”
At the completion of the training course, employees reported in an anonymous survey:
- a 12% increase in confidence and readiness to support anyone with a mental health issue
- a 23% increase in confidence in adapting their sports and physical programs to accommodate a mental health issue
- a 21% increase in awareness of the barriers to physical activity as a result of poor mental health
- a 21% increase in their rating of organisational support from Belgravia Leisure to support staff to increase their confidence and capacity around mental health
Employees provided the following survey feedback:
“This was the most relevant and insightful survey that I have ever done. Even as an experienced nurse, mental health in my experience was always the last to be addressed.”
“I’ve completed the mental health awareness course and found it extremely helpful, informative and empathetic.”
The Mental Health Awareness Training Program is free until August 31 and available to anyone who works within the leisure, sport and physical activity industry.