Mental health and wellbeing takes centre stage at Newton Abbot Racecourse on Wednesday 16 May for their first racing fixture in partnership with Plymouth & District Mind and Racing Welfare.
The afternoon racing fixture, which falls during Mental Health Awareness week, aims to improve understanding of mental health issues and the support that is available to both the general public through Plymouth & District Mind, and the racing world through Racing Welfare.
The focus of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week - which runs from Monday 14 until Sunday 20 May - is stress. Research by the Mental Health Foundation has shown that two thirds of people will experience a mental health problem in their lifetime and stress is a key factor in this.
Whilst stress is at the forefront of this year’s campaign, help and support is available for the myriad of other mental health problems which can arise; further research suggests that one in four of us will experience a mental health problem this year.
Patrick Masterson, Managing Director at Newton Abbot Racecourse said: “Unfortunately there still continues to be a great deal of stigma associated with mental health issues. Working with Plymouth & District Mind and Racing Welfare, we hope to be able to make a difference and help it to be more acceptable for people to open up and talk about mental health.
“This raceday is only a small step towards tackling some of these problems, but if we help just one racegoer to reach out for support, then it’s a big step in the right direction.
“We would like to thank Plymouth & District Mind and Racing Welfare for their support and we hope that together, we can make a difference.”
Olivia Craig, Plymouth & District Mind CEO, added: “Feeling stressed is something that everyone can relate to. However, when stress continues for a long period, people can become overwhelmed by it and this in turn can lead to the development of mental health problems or exasperate existing issues.
“By working with Newton Abbot Racecourse during Mental Health Awareness Week, we hope to be able to break down some of the barriers preventing people talking about their mental health concerns and to raise awareness of the expert support that is available locally to tackle these problems.”
Lynne Clarke, Welfare Officer (West Country) at Racing Welfare, commented: “Racing Welfare is running a national campaign for Mental Health Awareness Week to reduce stigma and encourage people from within the racing community to talk about their mental health concerns.
“No one should have to face these challenges alone and we are very grateful to Newton Abbot Racecourse and to Plymouth & District Mind for the opportunity to raise awareness of the support available to people living with mental health issues.”
Both Plymouth & District Mind, alongside Racing Welfare will be in attendance on the day to enable racegoers to find out more about the help and support that is available locally.
Throughout the fixture, the racecourse will share mental health awareness messages, case studies and links to available support, with racegoers. On the day, stable staff will also be wearing green ribbons on their coats to raise awareness and show their support to the campaign.
The Plymouth & District Mind and Racing Welfare Raceday takes place at Newton Abbot Racecourse on Wednesday 16 May. For tickets and to find out more about the raceday and the support that is available, visit www.newtonabbotracing.com .