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'Great coaching' improves mental well-being says expert

PUBLISHED: 15:00 10 October 2018

Dr Rosemary Leonard

Dr Rosemary Leonard

Archant

Leading medical expert, Dr Rosemary Leonard, says that the ‘great coaching’ taking place across the UK is helping to improve people’s mental well-being.

Today marks World Mental Health Day, an annual campaign which aims to raise awareness of mental health and highlight the support on offer for maintaining good mental well-being.

Dr Leonard is on the Board for UK Coaching, which is the lead agency for coaching in the UK with a mission to put coaching at the heart of physical activity and sport.

Earlier this year, UK Coaching hosted the first ever Coaching Week which saw a week-long celebration of #GreatCoaching and the launch of UK Coaching’s Principles of Great Coaching. Each year, they also host the UK Coaching Awards – celebrating great coaching taking place across the nation.

Since qualifying as a doctor from Cambridge University in 1980, Dr Leonard has encountered a lot of patients dealing with ill mental health and believes that there are numerous ways for people to improve their mental well-being, including taking part in physical activity and having an understanding coach.

The medical journalist believes that ‘great coaching’ can play an important part in improving mental well-being, supporting recent UK Coaching research which has shown that 71% of adults who receive coaching believe it has helped to improve their mental health and well-being.

Dr Leonard said: “Endorphins released through physical exertion and social interaction as a result of great coaching can have a positive effect on a person’s overall mental well-being.

“It’s important, on days like today’s World Mental Health Day, that we help people understand that coaching can provide the types of motivational climates that can increase people’s self-esteem, self-worth, enjoyment and vitality, and of course, the resilience of their sporting habits. This of course applies to the coach too.

“It’s also a chance for people from around the globe to rally together to show their support and raise awareness.”

Actively tackling mental health remains a universal challenge. The Mental Health Foundation revealed in a study in 2014, that every week one in six adults in the UK experiences a common mental health problem, such as anxiety or depression, while a further one in four adults in the UK will experience a problem every year.

UK Coaching has partnered with MIND and Public Health England to produce an animation and infographic to help coaches better understand what mental well-being is and provide coaches with the tools to promote good mental well-being through their coaching.

For more information, visit ukcoaching.org.

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