Skip to main content

Mental Health & Wellbeing

One in four people will experience a mental health problem each year, with 50% of mental health problems established by age 14 and 75% by age 24. Research by the New Economics Foundation has shown that being active is one of the five ways to wellbeing.

We therefore promote the benefits of physical activity on mental wellbeing and encourage colleges to include this in their support offer for students with, or at risk of developing mental health problems. We do this in a variety of ways including:

  • Supporting and promoting campaigns e.g. World Mental Health Day, Mental Health Awareness Week
  • Developing resources
  • Sharing good practice from colleges
  • Mental Health Ambassador programme
  • Delivering Mental Health First Aid training.

AoC Sport is represented on the AoC Mental Health Policy Group and has supported the work of group including the AoC Mental Health and Wellbeing Charter. We are also a signatory of the Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation.

Improving mental wellbeing in colleges through physical activity

In 2018 we published a report based on data collected from 15 colleges that supported students with mental health problems or had low levels of mental wellbeing to become more active. The results showed that 70% of participants who had an increase in activity levels had a positive change in their wellbeing score.

Developing a healthy relationship with physical activity

While we know that physical activity can be great for our mental health, it’s important to recognise that some people can develop an unhealthy relationship with physical activity. The menta health charity Mind have support and guidance for anyone concerned about theirs or other people's relationship with physical activity.