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World Mental Health Day and World Homeless Day 2023

Image description: Left – The Mental Health Foundation’s picture for World Mental Health Day 2023. Right – The World Homeless Day organisation’s picture for World Homeless Day 2023.

The SPRINT Project is supporting World Mental Health Day 2023, led by The Mental Health Foundation, and World Homeless Day 2023, led by the World Homeless Day Organisation which are being celebrated today—Tuesday the 10th of October!


World Mental Health Day

The theme for World Mental Health Day is ‘Mental Health is a Universal Human Right’. By increasing awareness and understanding of mental health through engagement and education it is possible to reduce stigma and promote good mental health for everyone.

So, how can you support the effort and get involved? Check out The Mental Health Foundation for ideas and advice such as attending an organised Tea & Talk or simply having a conversation about mental health with a friend, colleague or family member.

World Homeless Day

The purpose of World Homeless Day is to increase awareness of the needs of individuals who experience homelessness, challenge public perceptions, and encourage communities to come together to ultimately bring about the end of homelessness.

How can you get involved? Join the SPRINT Project in Birmingham, at The Exchange for an evening of thought-provoking discussion and unique narratives around the challenges that individuals experiencing homelessness face. As part of this event, Dr Mary Quinton, and Dr Grace Tidmarsh are holding a poetry and art-based workshop which will allow attendees to explore and challenge stereotypical discourses of homelessness.

Check out this video featuring Grace which was created for the event!

Find out more and register for this event here.


CW Content Warning/TW Trigger Warning // mental health and self-harm

The following section contains an overview of research conducted in the SPRINT Project that focuses on mental health and self-harm in dance students.


Mental Health and Homelessness Focused Research in the SPRINT Project

Our research in the SPRINT Project places a focus on both mental health in dancers and athletes, and those experiencing or at-risk of homelessness. Check out the information below for a snapshot of some of our recent and ongoing research!

Maria Kolitsida, PhD Researcher in the SPRINT Project, shines a light on our ongoing research into dancers’ mental health:

“We know that dancers may be at an increased risk of experiencing mental ill health. A particular area of concern in dance practice is self-harm in dance students. With no research investigating this, it can be hard for dance teachers to know how to support their students who might be at risk of self-harm. As a result, within the SPRINT Project we focus on understanding what self-harm looks like in dance, which dance students might be most at-risk, and what support dance teachers need in responding to self-harm concerns in their students. Collaborating with One Dance UK has been vital in ensuring that the research can be translated into practice to safeguard students at risk of self-harm. As our understanding and awareness of dancer’s mental health has been increasing, it is now time to consider how we can practically apply this knowledge so that people struggling have access to practical, applicable, ethical, and effective support.”

PhD Researchers Georgia Bird and Kirsty Brown, and alumni Dr Saul Shrom have completed research focused on sport and mental health. This examines transitions and challenges in professional sport, athlete help-seeking behaviours, and athlete mental health risk and protective factors. You can find out more and access recent publications on this research on our website here.

Our research on the experience of homelessness has focused on the collaborative creation of intervention programmes and associated Toolkits with St Basils homeless charity to support young people who are experiencing or at-risk of homelessness. Using a strengths-based approach, which originates in sport psychology, we support individuals to recognise and capitalise on their unique strengths and abilities and to develop and use mental skills. These include goal setting, mental imagery and emotion control and awareness. The ultimate aim of this research is to promote resilience and wellbeing in the individuals who partake in the programmes, and to support the facilitation of long-term positive experiences, environments, and connections.

You can check out our Toolkits here and find out about our My Strengths Training for Life (MST4Life™) programme here.


Let us know how you will be getting involved in World Mental Health Day and World Homeless Day in the comments section below!


Photo credit: The Mental Health Foundation, World Homeless Day Organisation and Canva.

Written by Dr Sally Reynard, Research Associate in the SPRINT Project and Maria Kolitsida, PhD Researcher in the SPRINT Project.

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