Time to Talk Day 2024: Club Story - Jedburgh BC

Bowls Scotland and many of our clubs understand that providing mental health support to players is crucial. Recognising and addressing mental health in sport promotes an overall approach to player development in a supportive environment. One club who has dedicated time and resources towards promoting a positive environment for players is Jedburgh Bowling Club.

Jedburgh BC in the Scottish Borders has shown outstanding dedication to the mental health and wellbeing of their members. The club have recently worked in partnership with the Scottish mental health charity, HeadStrong, to host educational sessions to discuss the importance of providing mental health support for everyone that is part of the club.

We reached out to John Taylor, the Club and Community Development Officer for Jedburgh BC, who has given us an insight into how the club began working with HeadStrong:

“At one of the Club Sport Roxburgh executive committee meetings we were given a brief talk on HeadStrong which was all about mental health and wellbeing in sport.”

The main pull to begin these workshops came after the team at Jedburgh BC understood some key mental health facts and statistics and decided that building their mental health support systems would be greatly beneficial to the club. John added:

“It was purely and simply the statistics. We were given a small flier at the above meeting and when I read it the statistics were frightening: One in four will suffer a mental health problem every year, one in three GP appointments are now around mental health issues. Then it makes you think about groups of people you interact with in daily life; a bowling club, bowling tournament, family gathering, general meetings, it’s endless. How many people within these group have an issue? I then arranged a meeting which initially involved the committee."

John then went on to discuss the focus of the mental health sessions and the benefits this will have on the club and its members:

“Two facilitators came to the club one evening in November 2023 and we were totally led by them. They encouraged questions throughout, and the whole session was no longer than 90 minutes.

“Whilst initially the programme is headed Mental Health and Wellbeing in Sport, it soon became clear from both the presentation itself and the alarming statistics highlighted that this is not only an issue in sport but potentially affects all ages and genders. Unless someone has suffered personally, whether or not they realise they have a problem, it is probably difficult to understand. When the facilitators highlighted the many areas which can trigger the problem it makes you aware of what we as individuals can do to help, even very small things can make a difference to someone who is struggling.”

After these sessions, John discussed the desired impact for members and also the clubs next steps for moving forward:

“Initially it was just presented to the committee, however, we are thinking about arranging another session to a bigger audience. We feel that simply by raising awareness will help. If we can understand some of the issues and trigger points, then we should be able to help in some small way.

To find out more about Time to Talk Day 2024, please visit: https://www.mind.org.uk/get-involved/time-to-talk-day-2024/

To find out more on HeadStrong, please visit: https://www.headstrongminds.com/


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