Sussex Cricket have become the first professional sports club in the World to launch their own mental health and wellbeing platform for the community. Chief Executive Officer, Rob Andrew, explains how the free, online resource is designed to help anyone that needs hope and support through the power of shared experiences.
The coronavirus pandemic has left the world reeling from its impact and just one of those areas is the effect it has had on an already existential crisis facing all four corners of the globe.
In England, the stats paint a grim picture of mental health amongst its population, with one in four people experiencing a mental health problem of some kind each year. In the past 12 months, strict measures to fight the battle against COVID-19 have included lockdowns and isolations away from the outside world, which in turn is expected to have had a knock-on effect on mental health.
However, in these difficult times, sport has offered a relief to many and going that extra step has been Sussex CCC, who have announced their Mental Health and Wellbeing Hub, becoming the first sports club in the world to do so.
“It is a free, online resource designed to help users find hope and support through the power of shared, lived experiences,” started Rob Andrew, CEO of Sussex CCC.
“At the heart of the mobile-optimised platform is the ‘Champions Cinema’, an ever-growing collection of thousands of videos of 60 seconds or less where people from the Sussex Cricket community and beyond share their experiences that can help with our mental health and wellbeing.
“Contributors include Sussex Cricket players and staff – including Sarah Taylor, who helped launch the platform, club cricketers, experts from Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust as well as individuals from a whole host of backgrounds and life experiences. The Sussex Cricket Mental Health & Wellbeing Hub is completely free to use by anybody with an internet connection and requires no registration, ensuring complete anonymity for users.”
In the face of an expected rise in mental health problems amongst the community, Andrew explained the purpose for forming the Hub and the reach he hoped it would have.
“The club wanted to use its standing and reach in the community to make a difference during and beyond the pandemic. We are so well supported by our community and we wanted to offer support back at such a challenging time for everyone.
“People’s mental health and wellbeing was identified by a working group, chaired by Sussex Cricket president, Sir Rod Aldridge, as likely to be an area hit particularly hard by the Covid-19 pandemic and one where the club could help with an innovative platform that could be accessed by our extensive network of over 3,500 members, 182 affiliated cricket clubs, tens of thousands of supporters who attend matches each year, thousands more people encountered through community programmes and corporate partnerships, over 400,000 followers on social media and more than 850,000 unique website visitors each year.”