Mental Health

Running and Mental Health
About 1 in 4 people are affected by mental health difficulties, yet often it can be difficult to talk about mental health, due to stigma and misunderstanding.
Physical activity is proven to be effective in both prevention and treatment of mental health difficulties. Running can help us lift our mood, increase our self-esteem, sleep better, think clearer and reduce stress, anxiety and depression. However, it can also be difficult to find the motivation or confidence to engage in physical activity, particularly if you are struggling with your mental health.

Mental Health Ambassadors
These are volunteers within our club with personal experience of mental health problems or supporting others mental health problems. Mental Health Ambassadors can support you to start, return to, or continue running, whether you have run marathons, or never run at all.
Mental Health Ambassadors also work to increase conversations and reduce stigma related to mental health and to improve the mental well-being of new and existing club members. They also link to local mental health groups and other England Athletics Mental Health Ambassadors in other clubs.
The Mental Health Ambassadors will also coordinate events such as #runandtalk runs which provide an opportunity (but not pressure) to share stories related to emotional well-being, mental health and running.
If you would like any more information about this role, or how a Valley Hill Mental Health Ambassador might be able to support you, please email

The next #runandtalk national event will take place from Saturday 28th January to Friday 3rd February 2017 to support Time to Talk day on Thursday 2nd February. Time to Talk day is an initiative from the organisation Time to Change, which aims to bring the nation together to get talking and break the silence around mental health problems.

Evaluation of the Mental Health Ambassador Programme
In order to monitor the effectiveness of the programme, England Athletics are keen to collect your feedback and we would be really grateful if you could spare a few minutes to complete a survey on you experience of the Mental Health Ambassador programme.
If you have recently started running as a result of this programme, or have received support from a Mental Health Ambassador please follow this link:
If you have not yet identified a particular Mental Health Ambassador to support you, or are currently trying to find one, please use the following link:


Useful Websites

Crisis Support