Posted on 9th January 2018
In conjunction with World Mental Health Day the BGA are proud to announce a new key project, ‘Grooms Minds’. Mental Health is a subject which many people are still not keen to talk about, but with an increasing number of grooms, riders and employers contacting the BGA for help and advice, it is clear that this is a real issue within the industry.
Being happy and content in the workplace is vital to individuals wellbeing and efficient team working. The Grooms Minds project aims to identify the specific issues associated with mental health within the industry to allow the BGA to raise awareness of these issues and then focus on and develop within this area. This work will include employees, employers and those who are self employed.
The inspiration from the project came from founder and Executive Director of the BGA Lucy Katan, who said, “My experience of being bullied whilst working at a high profile dressage yard was the catalyst for the formation of the BGA. It is something that I will never forget, and at the time there was no organisation for me, as a groom, to turn to. I am always concerned when we receive communications from grooms who are suffering from mental health issues in their workplace, and the BGA is determined, through the Grooms Minds project, to raise the awareness of such.”
One former groom who has been badly affected by these issues, and who doesn’t wish to be named added, “Being a groom was my dream career I enjoyed every aspect of it. My anxiety snuck up on me, grooms are expected to conscientious and a bit OCD so again I was proud to have these qualities. I didn’t feel I could talk to anyone about it because I was angry and disappointed with myself. I hope that the Grooms Minds project will help employers and grooms themselves be more alert to their mental wellbeing.”
The first step in this important project is to discover how widespread the issues are and so the BGA is urging that all grooms take part in a quick survey, which is 100% anonymous.
In the first dedicated survey of its kind the BGA would like to discover what issues are affecting you and the reasons why. The survey is 100% anonymous and can be found here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/groomsmindssurvey.
The result of the survey will then allow phase two of the project and the development of resources available specifically for grooms. As part of the project the BGA has signed up to the Sport and Recreation Alliance Mental Health Charter.
World Mental Health Awareness Day takes place on 10th October and for 2017 focuses on mental wellbeing in the work place. For more information visit: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/world-mental-health-day