Today is World Mental Health Day, to spread awareness we're taking a look at how some Upshot Users have created programmes to tackle mental health issues through the power of sport.
British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) is the national governing body for Higher Education sport in the UK.
Since 2018, BUCS has been managing the BUCS Active programme – a Sport England-funded initiative to tackle inactivity in university students. Across three phases, more than 50 projects have been funded in higher education institutions.
Research by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) in 2018 showed that every 4 days a student at a British University commits suicide, which is a staggering figure.
One of three funding streams is to support projects that use physical activity to improve mental health.
Since Phase 2 of the programme started in January 2019, BUCS has been using Upshot to capture participation and demographic data, case studies and project reports from all the projects. This also includes the BUCS Active Survey sent to all participating students at the start and at the end of each project – this collects information on changes in physical activity levels, mental wellbeing and attitudes to sport. Improvements in mental health are primarily evidenced using this method, with questions taken from the Short Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (SWEMWBS).
Results from Phase 2 showed that participants had, on average, reported a 2-point improvement in their SWEMWBS score between February and June.
Students also reported increasing physical activity levels and more than 80% said that taking part had a positive mental effect on other areas of their life, such as university work and their overall university experience.
Amazing work by BUCS towards tackling Mental Health.