Grooms Minds Plan

The BGA attended a meeting hosted by the British Horse Racing Authority and the charity Mind about the mental well being of those that work with horses.

The meeting was predominately focused on the racing sector, however as we have already taken great steps forward on this subject, and are co signatories on the Mental Health Charter we were invited along.

Phase I of the Grooms Minds project - the survey - boldly undertaken by the BGA in 2017, highlighted disturbing mental well-being issues within the profession and saw grooms across the industry call for more to be done to raise awareness and support grooms with their mental health and well-being.

Key findings of the 1,350 respondents were that: 70% of grooms have been bullied (including being the recipient of derogatory comments) within the workplace, either by their employer or by fellow workers and 83% of grooms who responded are suffering from stress and/or mental wellbeing problems.

The BGA is committed to its values. It has taken the survey results on board and is resolute to react to the members’ call and making positive changes within the industry.

In development is a diverse members’ well-being support and online information resource, mindful of profession and industry specific characteristics, that not only raises awareness but supports actions for maintaining mental health, resilience and restoration. It will also complement the existing, comprehensive, employment information resources.

Such action will encourage the principle of talking about such issues, ensuring it is no longer the untalked about problem. In addition it will protect and enhance the profession, industry brand and reputation; attract, engage and retain the best talent and, in the longer term, potentially create more empathic and compassionate working environments.

It is also important that we support employers on how to manage mental wellbeing in the workplace, and so the Equestrian Employers Association will also have a dedicated section of tools and advice too.

The general principles of our work are: 

  • Everything to be deliverable online, thus available 24/7: ‘anytime, anyplace, anywhere.’
  • Raise mental health awareness, education and confidence.
  • It’s OK, and time to talk mental health.
  • Support and help grooms.
  • The core message is ‘You are not alone’.
  • Inform, and share actions for, grooms’ self-help e.g. hints, tips, tools, techniques, appropriate signposting.
  • Introduce preventative, alongside curative approach.
  • Pioneer culture and attitude change across BGA and EEA and all BEF member bodies and beyond.

We know that for so many working that they really need help right now, and we are doing our best to deliver this support as soon as we possibly can.

For now we remind all members that you can call the BGA for help if you would like to chat through an employment situation, or you can learn more about the Grooms Minds project here.  






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