Mental Health is a subject which many people are still not keen to, or feel unable to talk about, but with an increasing number of grooms contacting the BGA for help and advice, it is clear that this is a real issue within our industry.
Being happy, content and confident in the workplace is vital to individuals well being and efficient team working.
The Grooms Minds project aims to identify the specific issues associated with mental health within the industry to allow the BGA to raise awareness of these issues and then focus on and develop within this area. This work will include employees, employers and those who are self employed.
Grooms minds survey
The first step in this important project is to discover how widespread the problem is. Statistics show that 1 in 6 young people will experience an anxiety condition at some point in their lives.
The initial results of the survey have been analysed and reported by Dr Carol Hall of Nottingham Trent University and can be viewed here
GROOMS MINDS SURVEY
Why Grooms Minds?
The inspiration from the project came from BGA founder, Lucy Katan, “My experience of being bullied whilst working at a high profile dressage yard was the catalyst for the formation of the BGA. It is something that I will never forget, and at the time there was no organisation for me, as a groom, to turn to.
I am always concerned when we receive communications from grooms who are suffering from mental health issues in their workplace, and the BGA is determined, through the Grooms Minds project, to raise the awareness of such.”
One former groom who has been badly affected by these issues, and who doesn’t wish to be named added, “Being a groom was my dream career I enjoyed every aspect of it. My anxiety snuck up on me, grooms are expected to conscientious and a bit OCD so again I was proud to have these qualities. I didn't feel I could talk to anyone about it because I was angry and disappointed with myself. I hope that the Grooms Minds project will help employers and grooms themselves be more alert to their mental well being.”
What happens next
The result of the survey will then allow phase two of the project and the development of resources available specifically for grooms and advice for employers.
As part of the project the BGA has signed up to the Sport and Recreation Alliance Mental Health Charter.
HELP WHEN YOU NEED IT
Life as a groom can be challenging. That’s what makes it so interesting and rewarding. But it sometimes can start to feel out of control, leading to levels of stress that can adversely affect your work and your personal life.
Here are some sources of help, there when you need it.
British Grooms Association
Being a member of your professional association will give you the opportunity to have a chat with an understanding member of the BGA team about any challenges that you may be facing. If you are not yet a member, discover more today.
Samaritans is available round the clock, every single day of the year. It provides a safe place for anyone struggling to cope, whoever they are, however they feel, whatever life has done to them. Call 116 123 (free 24-hour helpline) www.samaritans.org.uk
Charity providing support if you've been diagnosed with an anxiety condition. www.anxietyuk.org.uk
Phone: 08444 775 774 (Mon-Fri, 9.30am-5.30pm)
Promotes the views and needs of people with mental health problems. Phone: 0300 123 3393 (Mon-Fri, 9am-6pm) www.mind.org.uk
The NHS has a large amount of information on mental wellbeing and lots of tools on how to identify and self-help.
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