It’s Mental Health Awareness Week this week – a national campaign to raise awareness of mental health. This year’s theme is anxiety, something that many of us can relate to, particularly following Covid and lockdowns when all our lives changed so significantly.

Anxiety is one of the most common mental health problems we can face. I know I’ve had periods when I’m very anxious about things which people are often surprised by. The truth is though, most of us will experience anxiety in our lives and being able to speak openly about it really can help. Over a decade ago if my childhood friend (and inspiration for Sport in Mind) hadn’t opened up about his anxiety, I’m sure he wouldn’t be where he is today and leading a happy, positive life… and I know I wouldn’t be here writing this as Sport in Mind wouldn’t exist.

Having just celebrated Sport in Mind’s 12th birthday, I always find Mental Health Awareness Week a fantastic time to look back at what we’ve achieved over the past year, and in fact over the life of the charity. I’m very proud that Sport in Mind has supported the recovery of 18,000+ people over the years and I’m often given all the praise for its achievements, but the truth is Sport in Mind’s success isn’t down to me, it’s down to all the amazing people who are involved – the people who are reading this – our staff, coaches, volunteers, trustees, partners, participants, donors and fundraisers. The success of Sport in Mind is down to your support, down to you speaking about mental health and helping break down the barriers… and that’s what Mental Health Awareness Week is all about. During this week, please do check in with your friends, family and colleagues to see how they are because thousands of people suffer with anxiety and other mental health problems in silence.

The last few years have been difficult for many of us, with increasing numbers of us experiencing heighten levels of anxiety. Sport in Mind has interest in our services from all across the UK and abroad, and over the next few years we want to do our best to reach everyone that needs us. We cant do this alone though, so any support you can offer – whether that’s telling your friends about Sport in Mind, sharing our posts, volunteer or fundraising for us – will be greatly appreciated.