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Derbyshire Institute of Sport continues support of mental health in the workplace.

Derbyshire Institute of Sport project to put health and wellbeing at the heart of its support for the business community has proved a winner, with more than 100 people joining a mental health webinar about the importance of switching off from work and de-stressing.

The webinar, by DIS sports psychology lead Dr Phil Clarke, was the latest in a series of monthly, 30-minute ‘lunch and learn’ webinars available exclusively to businesses who sponsor the Community Interest Company.

Managing director Chloe Maudsley explained: “During the first lockdown of 2020, we wanted to explore how we could use the skills, knowledge and experience of our team to help the businesses whose support makes our work possible.

“When we were founded in 2012, our original goal was to increase the number of Derbyshire-based, world-class athletes. Our target of developing 20 such champions by 2020 was achieved in February last year, just before lockdown. We knew there was great potential to use the skills of our psychology, nutrition and strength and fitness coaches to work with businesses too.

“As the pandemic continued it was clear that the uncertainty, anxiety and anguish caused by the pandemic and life in lockdown was wreaking havoc on the mental health of many people. We knew we had to help.”

The result was the Thrive sponsorship programme, which has health and wellbeing benefits at the heart of its offer. There are three different Thrive Sponsorship packages so there’s something to suit businesses of all sizes. As well as the webinars, other benefits include nutrition consultations, online exercise classes, monthly wellbeing check-ins and online physiotherapy screenings.

Since March 2020, the DIS team members have also shared their knowledge publicly through blog posts on its website and videos on YouTube.

Chloe said: “Looking after your mental health, and supporting others to look after theirs, is more important than ever. Our mental and physical health are closely connected. A 2014 report by Public Health England, called Everybody Active, Every Day, found that people who are inactive have three times the rate of moderate to severe depression of active people.”

Mark Jones, MD of IT and telecoms company Wytech Limited, who are a DIS sponsor, said: “Helping our employees to be healthy and happy is the right thing to do, but I also believe that investing in workplace wellbeing improves business performance. Helping our employees to lead healthy, active lives gives them the assurance that they are valued and part of a team working together for a common goal. It can be fun too. Happy and healthy staff equals a happy and healthy business.”

You can learn more about Thrive, and download a brochure, at www.derbyshireis.co.uk/business/thrive

Five top tips for looking after your mental health, by Dr Phil Clarke, at www.derbyshireis.co.uk/news/five-tips-for-looking-after-your-mental-health

DIS supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.