In December 2018, TRiM was one of three projects to be awarded funding by the British Universities & Colleges Sports (BUCS) and Sport England to use physical activity as an intervention for tackling mental health issues among students at the University of Warwick. The initial application was put together by Warwick Sport in November 2018 as part of its physical activity referral programme, targeting students experiencing mental health difficulties and the wider student population. With a vision of using physical activity as an approach to manage and prevent poor mental health.
18 universities were successful in receiving BUCS Active funding linked to projects tackling inactive female students and using physical activity to tackle mental health issues. Collectively these universities have received £160,000 to support activity aimed at targeting over 5,400 new student participants. This opportunity was made available through the funding BUCS received from Sport England.
The aims of Warwick’s programme are to:
• Provide opportunities for students with mental health difficulties to engage in group-based physical activity in a supportive setting as a way to manage their mental health.
• Reduce inactivity in the wider population as a preventative approach to promote good mental health and wellbeing.
• Test viability of delivering activities with department settings with a review of challenges and outcomes.
TRiM will be piloting structured mindful running sessions and courses for students during terms 2 and 3 of 2019, to learn about the benefits of mindful running as a tool for improving mental wellbeing.
Course 1 is aimed at students during their exams, providing them with the opportunity to engage in TRiM sessions as a tool for combatting stress and improving mental wellbeing. Course 2 is aimed specifically at students experiencing mental health difficulties, providing them with the opportunity to engage in TRiM sessions within a supportive and inclusive setting alongside peers with a shared experience of mental health.
Sessions will be:
• Promoted as beginner friendly
• Reassuring to individuals with low-efficacy and may help to develop confidence
• Delivered at the same time and in the same location each week
• Delivered at a convenient time for students
• Materials outlining key details: what the session involves? Where and when it will take place? What to bring? Who else will be there?
Sessions will include group discussion, theory, practical and group-based activities that are designed to promote a fun, supportive and inclusive culture that fosters positive mental health and wellbeing. The aim is to empower individuals to adopt and maintain healthy lifestyle habits that build resilience and improve mental wellbeing – creating healthier and happier student communities.
We are hoping that both groups will prove popular and we can continue to develop and grow the programme at the University of Warwick.