The “Bell Let’s Talk” day is a powerful lever to break the isolation and overcome certain taboos surrounding mental health and mental illness. Indeed, “87% of Canadians reported that they are more aware of mental health issues since Bell Let’s Talk began.” (Bell Let’s Talk, 2019). It has made a significant contribution to promoting mental health in the country.
On the occasion of this day, we are taking a brief moment to discuss the major contribution that practicing sports has on mental health. “Numerous studies suggest that the increased benefits for mental health and the reduction in the risk of mental illness are observed as the dose of physical activity increases.” (Institut National de Santé Publique du Québec, INSPQ, 2019). Here are some of the highlights drawn from various studies:
- Physical activity alone related to intrinsic motivations was associated with positive mental health indicators;
- Being part of a sports team has a protective effect on the feeling of despair and the risk of suicide among adolescents;
- Physical activity practiced in a more or less formal group also has a positive influence on well-being. For example, seniors participating in walking groups showed beneficial effects on mental health, isolation and the risk of depression;
- The notion of pleasure and a leisure environment appear as essential aspects to physical activity with a view to promoting mental health and preventing common mental disorders. (INSPQ, 2019)
As you know, we are constantly repeating how important it is to promote the notion of pleasure in sporting activities. Not only does pleasure favour reaching one’s full potential in their sport, favour a healthy journey for the individual and increase the chances of practicing their sport as long as possible, but studies also show that it also contributes to good mental health… which we can all benefit from! In closing, here is a final statistic: a total of 1,399,890 calls are made to listening and intervention services during “Bell Let’s Talk” days (Bell Let’s Talk, 2019).
Therefore, we want to remind you that our telephone intervention service is completely anonymous (1-833-211-2433) and we invite you to contact us if you witness or are a victim of harassment or any other type of abuse in your sporting environment.
BELL LET’S TALK, 2019. Results and Impacts. [online], https://letstalk.bell.ca/en/results-impact/ , Consulted on January 7, 2019.
INSTITUT NATIONAL DE SANTÉ PUBLIQUE DU QUÉBEC, Bouger pour être en bonne santé… mentale!, [Online], https://www.inspq.qc.ca/pdf/publications/2037_bouger_sante_mentale.pdf , Consulted on January 7, 2019.