(This page focuses on mental health, if you are experiencing any form of harassment or abuse, or any behaviour that has made you feel uncomfortable we encourage you to reach out. Click here for additional advice if you are a young person, and here if you are an adult that wishes to report a concern)
“It’s okay to not be okay. You’re allowed to change your mind, to take a break or leave a situation you don’t feel comfortable in. There’s no need to blame yourself for any of those things just like there’s no need to feel bad about… feeling bad. We should all be allowed to fall apart sometimes so that we can find ourselves all over again.”
One in four people will experience a problem with their mental health every year, but it is not something that people find easy to talk about.
At BF we believe it is important to keep conversations about mental health and wellbeing going. We recognise that sport can be both part of a solution, but also part of the problem (for example the additional stresses faced by competitive fencers seeking GBR selection). We are taking action to support our community to help create environments where these conversations can take place.
If you are in that place when it feels like there is a dark cloud hanging over you, or things are stressing you out and you feel you can’t face them anymore, there are people and organisations that you can reach out to.
If you feel that you urgently need wellbeing support you can find local NHS Services in your area.
If you are struggling then please do start the conversation. It can and will make a difference. What you are experiencing can be helped.
Below are some places where you can find support and someone to talk to:
Papyrus – https://papyrus-uk.org/
Confidential support and advice service for children and young people (under 35) who are experiencing thoughts of suicide or anyone concerned that a young person could be thinking about suicide
Call: 0800 061 41 41, Mobile 07860 039967, Email: [email protected]
Changing Minds – https://changingmindsuk.com/
Comprehensive psychological services, working with relationships and strengths to improve wellbeing and performance.
Call 01925 483069, Email: [email protected]
LGBT Foundation for advice, support and information between 9am and 9pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 6pm on Saturday and Sunday (excluding bank holidays and religious festivals) on 0345 330 3030
Mind Out – https://mindout.org.uk/get-support/ an LGBTQ mental health service.
Mermaid – If you are or know a young person who is struggling with their gender identity, you can speak to a trained member of the team via their helpline Monday to Friday from 9am to 9pm on 0808 801 0400 or if you need more urgent help, you can text ‘MERMAIDS’ to 85258 for free 24/7 crisis support across the UK.
There is also additional mental wellbeing support for athletes on BF programmes – if you would like to access that support please email [email protected] or speak to any member of the staff/support team and they will help signpost you to the options available.
If you are fencing in a club, you can also reach out to your coach or welfare officer.
(If you want to understand more about mental health and access related resources please click here)
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