Rowing together for Mental Health Awareness Week
With Mental Health Awareness Week launching today, Jack Walsh provides an update on the Rowing Together for Healthy Minds campaign
Founding member Jack Walsh is passionate about raising the profile of mental health and shares his thoughts below.
Launched in September 2018, Rowing Together for Healthy Minds (RTHM) has grown rapidly from having 18 clubs affiliated to 128 and counting. RTHM aspires to inform athletes and coaches about the symptoms of depression and other disorders, and ultimately to make it easier for people suffering from these issues to reach out for help in future. We want to turn up the volume on discussing mental health.
We aim to do this by:
- Partnering with boat clubs across the UK
- Selling our universal charity tech tops to be worn by all clubs
- Supplying a free poster to all affiliated clubs that outlines the club’s commitment to prioritising the mental health of its athletes
- Donating all profits to our partner charity, Mind
- Inform and educate others on mental health via our social media accounts @rthm_uk on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter
We have encouraged clubs to participate in different ways. RTHM were asked to officially partner with various charity varsity races including the Boat Races of the North, Scotland and Wales to name a few! There have also been several clubs that have undertaken sponsored events to raise money for Mind in our name.
We are a mental health campaign for rowers and we want to turn up the volume on discussing mental health
Our charity tech tops have been a great means of spreading the campaign, and with over 3,000 sold, it has been remarkable to see so many athletes wearing them at BUCS races, heads of the river and other events over the last few months. In a time where many fear for the damage caused by social media, the RTHM campaign has highlighted to me how powerful it can be when used to spread positivity.
If you are worried about yourself or someone you know who might be struggling with mental health issues, talk to those close to you, and head to Mind for support. RTHM is not a registered charity but is an official partner with Mind and all profits are donated to Mind.
We are excited to announce that we are currently filming a video about mental health in rowing. The video will – fingers crossed – be released in June and features a variety of rowers talking about their mental health and how they think these conversations could be made easier in boat clubs across the UK. We hope that by spreading this video, it will encourage those suffering with mental health issues to ask their families and friends for help.