THIS week is Mental Health Awareness Week, and the charity Racing Welfare is using the event to promote the importance of good mental health and to encourage discussions on the subject across the racing and thoroughbred breeding industry.

Mental Health Awareness Week is a national campaign run by the Mental Health Foundation, which this year runs from May 14 to May 20.

Research shows that two-thirds of people will experience mental ill-health of varying types at some point in their lives and the severity and impact of the issue, plus a person’s ability to cope with it, can fluctuate on a daily, weekly or yearly basis.

By proactively engaging racing staff with the campaign, Racing Welfare hopes to ensure that all those working within the industry know that the charity have a range of support services available should they or someone they know be struggling with their mental health.

Anyone looking for advice can access this via Racing Welfare’s 24-hour helpline on 0800 6300 443. The service is completely free and confidential.

Simone Sear, Racing Welfare’s director of welfare, said: “Looking after our mental health is just as important as looking after our physical health, yet it is not always easy to recognise when we, or someone else, is struggling with a mental health issue.

“By supporting Mental Health Awareness Week we aim to raise awareness of and de-stigmatise mental health issues to make it easier for those working in our industry to come forwards for support, or indeed to support others to get help."

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