Sport  and Youth Mental Health Project

Sport and Youth Mental Health Project

The Active Essex Foundation are excited to be able to deliver a new Youth Sport Mental Health Project that ensures early intervention to support young people experiencing low levels of emotional wellbeing. Physical activity can enhance lives at any stage but engaging with young people as they develop can ensure their mental health as an adult is improved.

Total amount secured to deliver Youth Sport and Mental Health Projects
Grant from the National Lottery Community Fund
From Active Essex Local Delivery Pilot (LDP)

The Team

Our Project Manager and Coordinator are passionate about physical activity and are striving to change the lives of young people across Essex

AEF Meet the team SPMHP Twitter Post 6

Approximately 36,000 young people aged 5-18 years old in Essex are experiencing low levels of emotional wellbeing and mental health challenges. Half of all adult mental health problems start by the age of 14, with a direct link between poor mental health and physical health.

This innovative and important new project will create a large and proactive mental health support offer for children/young people aged 5 – 18 years across Essex using the medium of sport and physical activity as a tool for engagement to improve children/young people’s mental wellbeing and resilience.

This project will initially focus on the areas of Basildon, Southend, Thurrock, Colchester, Braintree, Tendring, and Chelmsford by working with, supporting, and training 16 LTOs on the prevention of the early stages of poor mental wellbeing, always using community settings that are viewed as safe spaces by children/young people.

Our long-term aim is to prevent children/young people from getting to the stage where they need to access expensive clinical treatment for their poor mental health, therefore not just saving money, but also reducing waiting times for clinical care for those who most need it by collaborating with the mental health services that exist in Essex.

To achieve positive system change the project team will:

  • Work closely with health partners such as health alliances, ICBs, charities such as Mind, Children Society so they recognise the role that sport and physical activity has to play - long term aim of leveraging funding
  • Work with ECC Levelling Up funding to secure delivery funding
  • Link in with regional and national mental health projects
  • Create an evaluation framework to build the evidence around the role of sport and physical activity
  • Develop a referral system via a sports connector replicating what we do with Sport and Youth Crime Prevention.

Future plans for the project:

  • Delivery proposals to be written
  • Continued share and learn sessions
  • Build current and new relationships with LTO's and partners
  • Feedback workshops to be carried out to gather important information
  • LTO supervision support through Believe Perform