This Mental Health Awareness Week Sport NI has launched a new online mental health and wellbeing awareness course for the sports sector.

According to the ‘Mental Health in Northern Ireland Fundamental Facts 2023’ one in five adults and one in eight children in Northern Ireland have a probable mental illness.

The course, available through Sport NI’s Digital Learning Hub, provides sporting clubs and organisations with an introduction to mental health and wellbeing, the signs and symptoms to look out for and how to support yourself and those around you.

Richard Archibald, Sport NI Interim CEO, said: “This mental health awareness week we are encouraging the sports sector to prioritise mental health and wellbeing. At Sport NI we are committed to building a positive and inclusive sporting system which recognises the importance of mental health and wellbeing at all levels of sport.

“Sports clubs are at the very heart of our communities, and we are all aware that sport and physical activity can have a powerful and positive effect on mental health. Our new online mental health awareness course is available to anyone involved in sport and is a great introduction into the importance of looking after our mental health and wellbeing, recognising the signs and symptoms and how to look after ourselves and each other.”

The introductory course connects participants to a wide range of mental health resources and services in their local Trust areas via the Public Health Agency.

Sport NI’s Digital Learning Hub also includes a mental health course designed specifically for sports officials- Positive Mental Health & Officiating.

With officiating being one of the toughest jobs in sport, the course helps those who take on this responsibility to understand mental health, it’s impact and focus on the positive aspects of officiating.

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If you or someone you know is in distress or despair, call the Lifeline crisis helpline on 0808 808 8000. For more information visit