As a Club, we are conscious of the stresses and challenges that our members encounter both on and off the court. This year has been particularly difficult for us all as we try to adapt to new situations in all aspects of our daily lives.
Please find below a Memorandum regarding our commitment to the mental health of all our members. We will continue to update the page with relevant information and links at regular intervals. If there is anything you wish to have included, please contact us at email@example.com
Killester Basketball Mental Health Memorandum
This memorandum is relevant to all players, coaches, managers and other members of Killester Basketball Club.
When we feel we are suffering it is important not to stay silent. When we suffer with mental health difficulties, we act irrationally, get into trouble and these actions affect our daily routines in school/work, and the relationships with our family and friends.
There is a stigma around mental health which prevents help being sought. It is important as a Basketball Club we act as an outlet for anyone that feels they are suffering with their mental health. On the court, on the sidelines and at practice we need to foster an environment to help mental health become less of a taboo.
Here are 7 ways in which every member of KBC can offer support to their teammates, friends, and other club members
- Choose words carefully
- Share your story
- Get Involved
|Fear of mental illness is often rooted in a lack of education and understanding. A common misconception is thinking of mental illness as one illness, when in actuality, different disorders and illnesses can range in severity and symptoms. Conduct your own research – Google is a great place to start, or there might be Facebook groups that discuss different conditions in greater detail, and you can read first-hand experience of others. ALWAYS be mindful of the source of the information you are reading to better understand the basics of these conditions.
|Ask – but be mindful of your language
|When someone is struggling with a mental health problem, it can be difficult for them to ask for help. You can eliminate one barrier by reaching out and starting the conversation yourself. A simple question like, “I noticed you’ve been having a hard time lately; what can I do to help?” can create a safe space for someone to talk about their problem and get assistance without needing to seek it out. Be mindful of the person you are talking to and make sure the language you are using is reassuring them that they can confide in you with confidence. Asking how you can help ensures that you’re equipped to assist someone in a way that will be beneficial to them specifically.
You never know what someone is going through just by looking at them. Being conscious of your language and word choice in a variety of situations and conversations, not just around people who you know have a mental illness. Using the word ‘insane’ in a certain context makes light of mental illness and devalues the experiences of people who have lived with mental illnesses. If you find yourself frequently describing things or people as ‘crazy’ or ‘insane,’ you might want to check out how you might adapt your use of these or similar words.
|A common reason why people avoid disclosing their mental health issues is because they are afraid of judgment and discrimination. Understand that talking about a condition might feel incredibly vulnerable and nerve-wracking for someone else. Let your friend know that their voices are being heard by listening closely, not interrupting, and acknowledging that they are not defined by their mental illness. You can show empathy by trying to put yourself in their position and respond in the way that you would want someone to respond to you if you were sharing something difficult and private.
|Just as you would go to the doctor if you had a persistent cough for a couple of weeks, you should take your mental health seriously. This is where you can draw on the teammates and managers/coaches. If you need to talk but don’t find it comfortable asking your immediate family talk to your friends on the team, talk to your coach. Everyone involved in Killester is here to support each other. Mental health is just as important as physical health. Sometimes the physical exercise can be a good way of taking your mind off your own thoughts for that hour or two hours you practice a week. You should always feel your team and your coach is approachable.
|Share Your Story
|By sharing your lived experience, whether it’s with a serious lifelong mental illness or your daily struggles with anxiety, you open the door for people to see themselves in your story and feel less alone.
|The first way you can get involved is by starting a conversation. Start it at home, start it with your friends. Need a conversation starter– how is mental health portrayed on a TV show that you watch, or ask your friends do they recognize the differences when playing online games versus physical games on their mental health.