Dallaglio RugbyWorks is supporting Mental Health Awareness Week 2022 powered by the Mental Health Foundation. The Mental Health Foundation’s main aims is to ensure good mental health for all. Their mission is to help people understand, protect and sustain their mental health. This closely aligns with our mental wellbeing corner stone, using sport and workshops to ensure that the young people we work with are educated on how to maintain good mental health.
This year’s theme for Mental Health Awareness Week is loneliness. The pandemic had a huge effect on levels of loneliness through the UK and the rest of the world, as many people were isolated away from family and friends. Our connection to others within our community is a vital part of protecting our mental wellbeing.
Loneliness in young people increased severely during the COVID-19 pandemic leaving a gap between how much young people wanted to socialise with their peers and how much they actually could due to restrictions in place. In a survey by The Mental Health Foundation 76% of young people have said not being able to see friends due to the pandemic had a negative impact and 26% of respondents said their relationships with friends have got worse. This is practically concerning as young people are at stages of life where developing strong friendships help develop life skills and provide vital forms of support to each other.
How can we tackle loneliness?
- Check in with those around you
- Try to join a class or group based on your hobbies or interests. This could include online groups if you can't attend things in person.
- Open up and talk to those already in your life.
- It is very hard to stop comparing ourselves to others. We all do it, but it can help to just be aware that things are not always what they seem from the outside.
Sport is a great way to tackle loneliness. By joining a sports team or club you are surrounding yourself with people that have similar interests to you. It’s a great way to meet new people and make new friends.
“Sport has allowed me to build a strong relationships and it is how I have met most of my friends. When you are part of a sports team you are bonded and you support one another whether you win or lose, it’s like being a part of a family.”
Brittany Lewis, DRW Lead Coach – Wales.
In Dallaglio RugbyWorks we promote togetherness within our young people. One of the main life skills we work on with our young people through our practical delivery and workshops is teamwork. We encourage our young people to develop their team work skills and learn how to work cohesively together and include all their peers.