Racing staff called on to aid mental health research

Researchers are seeking to find out more about links between working in racing and mental health.

Racing Welfare launched the final phase of its mental health research project in the form of an online survey and is encouraging all those working in the industry to take part.

The charity is working with post-graduate researcher Will McConn of Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) on the study, which is part-funded by a Racing Foundation grant.

“To have moved into this final stage of the research is really exciting,” said Racing Welfare director of welfare Simone Sear.

“We anticipate that Will’s conclusions will underline a number of positive practices happening in racing as it stands at the moment, in addition to providing evidence that will help us to evolve and refine Racing Welfare’s mental health and wellbeing services for the future.”

Interviews and focus groups have already taken place, involving 130 people from across the industry, including trainers, stable staff, jockeys, stud workers, racing secretaries, and representatives from various industry governing bodies.

The survey looks to expand on several areas that have arisen throughout the interview process.

The research perspective is neutral; it seeks to establish an overview of mental wellbeing in the industry, encompassing thriving mental health right through to issues associated with poor health such as low mood, stress and clinically diagnosed conditions,” said a statement from Racing Welfare.

“The practical applications of the research findings will focus on the development of Racing Welfare’s mental health services, but also highlight and grow the many good practices that already exist within the industry.

“As such both Racing Welfare and LJMU would like to hear from everyone, regardless of where it is felt their mental health falls within the overall spectrum.”

The questionnaire takes around 15 minutes to complete and all submissions are confidential. It will be open until 22 February, with the final report published on 13 May to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week 2019.

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“We are really pleased with the level of engagement we have encountered when undertaking the interview and focus group stage of the research,” said Mr McConn.

“I have no doubt that this openness will continue into the final phase of the project.

“The survey gives us an opportunity to include everyone working in racing and I would ask that as many people as possible take part to express their own experiences and perspectives.”

Click here to take part in the survey

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