Awarding organisation Active IQ has launched a Level 2 Award focusing in mental health – one of the first of its kind for the physical activity and fitness industry.
Officially recognised as a Level 2 qualification on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF), it comprises two units: Mental Health Awareness and Mental Health First Aid.
The qualification has no specific entry requirements, making it accessible to young learners aged 16+ as well as adult learners.
Targeted at health and fitness professionals, teachers, college tutors, coaches and gym managers, the training aims to provide them with the tools to be better placed to offer advice, guidance and support when encountering clients and colleagues with mental health issues.
According to Jenny Patrickson, MD of Active IQ, the main purpose of the qualification is to provide learners with an understanding and awareness of common mental health disorders and issues, help reduce stigma and discrimination and encourage people to talk about mental health.
“Identifying and managing mental health issues is very much in the spotlight at the moment and rightly so,” Patrickson said.
“Increasingly, individuals and organisations are faced with friends, colleagues, peers and customers who have mental health issues.
"Our qualification seeks to help people most likely to encounter those with mental health issues to spot the signs, understand, empathise and be skilled in offering support.
“We are keen to engage a wide range of individuals through the delivery of this qualification and already have colleges, universities and a diverse range of training providers becoming approved to deliver the programme.
"Mental health affects people of all ages so we hope leisure operators, personal trainers, fitness instructors and community health and wellbeing professionals will upskill with this qualification to enable them to support clients and communities where such help needed.
Approved Active IQ training provider, Ad-Lib Training is one of the first providers to offer the new programme, while Fusion Lifestyle is the first leisure operator to place 12 staff of a pilot programme to gain the new qualification.