The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented levels of anxiety, depression and psychological distress among the general population. Between March and June 2020, the number of adults experiencing psychological distress stood at 37.8 per cent, up 13.5 per cent from the average figure for 2019.

This deterioration in mental wellbeing can be explained by the impact of multiple lockdowns on our ability to perform and enjoy activities which previously kept us well and happy. These include meeting up with friends and family, exercising and keeping physically active, travelling and exploring new sites, going to school or to work, as well as eating out. Compounded with working-from-home fatigue and financial concerns around furlough and redundancy, our inability to enjoy the things we love can take a substantial toll on our mental health and wellbeing.

Workplaces, in particular, have felt the impact of the crisis on staff mental health, wellbeing, and productivity. Some employees will have suffered bereavements during this time, often unable to attend funerals. Others will have experienced insecurity about their jobs and finances. The pandemic has also led some employees to work longer or irregular hours, with many having to combine work with home-schooling and other family responsibilities, leading to a poor work-life balance.

To support our members during this difficult time, ukactive has launched the Mental Health Resource Hub, a platform which collates the latest information, resources and best practice surrounding mental health.

Mental Health in Numbers

– Poor mental health costs UK employers up to £45 billion every year, up 16% since 2016

– For every £1 spent on supporting staff mental health, employers get £5 back on their investment

– One in five adults in England meet the criteria for a common mental disorder

– Suicide is the biggest killer of men under the age of 50 in the UK

– Self-harm rates in the UK are among the highest in Europe

– 90% people diagnosed with a common mental health disorder wait 12 months to tell close friends and family

What to expect

  1. Up-to-date resources to support yourself, your loved ones and your staff during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.


  1. Expert-led webinars to hear from other organisations about the practical tools and measures your business can implement to re-energise and support your staff.


  1. Monthly check-ins through the ukactive LinkedIn group to generate a sector-wide conversation about mental health in the workplace.

General Support

The below resources can be used to support anyone struggling with low mood and poor mental wellbeing, no matter what the issue is or what their relationship is to you.

Government Guidance for the public on the mental health aspects of COVID-19

This guide provides advice on how individuals can look after their mental health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 outbreak. It also lists a whole host of resources for issues such as accessing financial and mental health support.

View here.

Mental Health Resources (NHS)

Whether you’re concerned about yourself or a loved one, these mental health charities, organisations and support groups can offer expert advice, no matter what the issue is. This resource pack includes helplines and websites for advice on gambling, learning disabilities, abuse, parenting, eating disorders, anxiety, and more.

View here.

Mental Health Apps (NHS)  

 A list of apps (either free or subscription-based) recommended by the NHS to support and boost mental health.  

 View here 

Better Health – Every Mind Matters (PHE)

Better Health – Every Mind Matters supports people to look after their mental health and wellbeing and to help support others such as family and friends. The campaign encourages people to get a free NHS-approved Mind Plan from the Every Mind Matters website. By answering 5 simple questions, you can get a personalised action plan with practical tips to help you deal with stress and anxiety, boost your mood, sleep better and feel more in control.

Every Mind Matters also has a COVID-19 hub, which includes practical tips and support on how adults can deal with uncertainty, how to cope with money and job worries, and how to look after both their own and their family’s mental wellbeing while staying at home.

View here.

MH1 is the mental health movement for health and fitness professionals.

A private community where relevant information and stories can be shared and colleagues supported.

MH1 currently comprises of three elements:

  1. A suite of uplifting campaign materials which are free to fitness operators and individuals. The campaigns are simple and designed to work across different platforms.
  2. Two communities, one on Facebook and the other on LinkedIn. Both providing the opportunity for community members to share ideas and resources.

View here.

  1. The Mental Health Questionnaire (MHQ) The MHQ is currently under development with the support of Edge Hill University and clinical colleagues from the NHS. This includes peer reviews, a rigorous statistical analysis, evaluation and ultimately validation the final version will include guidance notes and useful tips and tools and will be made free to operators and individuals across the UK fitness industry.

Support in the Workplace

The below resources include preventive and proactive measures employers and employees can take to protect their mental health at work. There are special resources for furloughed staff and staff returning to work.

Wellness Action Plan (Mind)

Wellness Action Plans are designed to support individuals and line managers identify triggers and warning signs to spot mental distress early. The plans are for everyone, including people who have never struggled with mental health concerns before, and encourage proactive conversations about mental health and wellbeing to ensure any adjustments can be made before something becomes an issue.

View here.

Toolkit for People in the Sport Sector (Mind)

This toolkit outlines the basic tenets of mental health (including what it is and why it’s important), and provides tactical measures organisations in the sport and physical activity sector can implement to support staff.

View here.

Coronavirus and Work Support Hub (Mind)

This hub collates all the resources and information on Mind’s website pertaining to working during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes tips for working from home, resources to support teams remotely, supporting staff caring for children, coping with redundancy and returning to work.

View here.

Support for Furloughed Staff

How to Manage Wellbeing when on Furlough (Mind)

This resource sets out the measures individuals can take to support their mental wellbeing while on furlough. It also suggests employers have a role to play in supporting individuals stay connected to their organisation by offering regular wellbeing check-ins, keeping furloughed staff informed of any company developments, and staying available to discuss any work-related concerns with furloughed staff.

View here.

Return to Work Support

Returning to the workplace after the COVID-19 lockdown (SOM)

This resource offers practical advice to employers and employees about returning to work. It is designed to ease the transition back to work and make sure staff coming back to work are reassured that their safety and wellbeing are a priority.

View here.

Diversity and Inclusion

Mind and ReThink

Diversity and difference have an impact on identity and experience of mental health. This toolkit from Mind helps to with considering your activity and engaging with those with specifics needs or from diverse groups including disability, socio-economic background, LGBTQIA+ and ethnic diversity.

View here.

Those from ethnically diverse or Black, Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds may face specific issues relating to mental health. This resource and factsheet by ReThink provides information to support for these audiences.

View here.

Learning and Development Support

The below resources are designed to support anyone who wishes to use this time as an opportunity to learn new things – whether directly related or completely unrelated to the sector’s work. Research shows that learning new skills can improve mental wellbeing by boosting self-confidence and raising self-esteem.

CIMSPA ReActivate

ReActivate is a new, free online training platform designed to equip anyone working or volunteering in the sport, fitness, leisure and physical activity sector in England with the knowledge and skills they need to confidently return to work or restart their coaching activity as we emerge from the coronavirus lockdown.

View here.

*You may also wish to visit CIMSPA’s ‘Stronger Together’ hub, which offers learning and development support during COVID-19.

Sporting Edge

ukactive have partnered with Sporting Edge to offer its members access to their exclusive digital coaching experience. Membership provides access to over 600 insight-led videos from high performance experts, weekly inspiration and tips from former England cricketer and international performance coach Jeremy Snape, as well as exclusive online mastermind sessions with global sports stars and industry thought leaders.

View here.

To set up your account, visit the link above and follow the steps to join as a single member and set up a personal account. When you get to the checkout – apply the ACTIVE21 to receive your first month FREE! After this, there is a monthly recurring payment of only £25 + VAT (£30). You can remain a Member as long as you like or cancel any time. ukactive members also have access to a 20% discount on Sporting Edge’s digital coaching programmes.

Active iQ

To encourage fitness professionals to use their time in lockdown to learn new skills and develop their strengths, Active iQ is offering free access to its online Skills Hub CPD and Medical Advisor Training resources.

View here.

Premier Global NASM

Premier Global NASM have curated a portfolio of free courses catering to a broad range of professional competencies and covering a wide spectrum of topics.

These include mental resilience, eating healthy at home, balance and functional training, speed and agility, foam rolling techniques, and improving nutrition habits.

LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn offers all members one month free on its in-house learning platform. Courses range anywhere from public speaking to data intelligence and analysis.

View here.

Open Learn (The Open University)

Produced by The Open University, Open Learn offers over 1,000 free courses across 8 different subject areas. There are numerous courses pertaining to health, sports and psychology, such as principles of a coaching approach, working with young people in sport and exercise, and meeting minority needs.

View here.

The Skills Toolkit (HM Government)

The skills toolkit enables individuals to complete a range of courses pertaining to professional development, business and finance, design and marketing, as well as personal growth and wellbeing for free.

View here.


Skillshare is a learning platform with online classes ranging from business analytics to web development. The platform offers a 7-day free trial, or unlimited classes for just £6 per month to explore new areas and learn new skills.

View here.


Coursera is an online learning platform, which partners with more than 200 leading universities and companies to bring flexible, affordable, and job-relevant online learning to individuals and organisations worldwide. The site offers a range of learning opportunities – from hands-on projects and courses to job-ready certificates, career credentials, and degree programmes.

View here


edX is an online learning platform founded by Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Supporting learners at every stage, edX delivers courses on topics ranging from data and computer science to leadership and communications.

View here

Connect with industry fellow colleagues by joining the ukactive LinkedIn Together group

Leadership and Management Advice

The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked debate on the role of leadership in shaping workplace culture and fostering resilience. The below resources are designed to support and inspire today’s managers so they can lead with confidence.

Overcoming Pandemic Fatigue: Reenergizing Organisations for the Long Run (McKinsey)

In this prolonged period of crisis, many organisations are experimenting with different approaches to reenergise their exhausted workforces and make changes to emerge stronger, together. This article explores five ways organisations are reenergizing.

View here

Strategies to Support your Employees through a Crisis (Harvard Business Review)

Although the pandemic has plunged us into unforeseen challenges, it’s also given leaders an opportunity to reflect on how to actively demonstrate inclusive and supportive behaviour for teams and companies. This article sets out five strategies leaders can use galvanise their employees.

View here

The Heart of Resilient Leadership: Responding to COVID-19 (Deloitte)

According to Deloitte, five fundamental qualities of resilient leadership distinguish successful CEOs as they guide their enterprises through the COVID-19 crisis. This article goes over the specific steps that can help blunt the crisis’ impact, and enable your organisations to emerge stronger.

View here

Your Mental Health Resources Team

‘ukactive is passionate about mental health and the impact it can have on our lives. The team members listed below are not qualified to give out mental health advice, but they can help your business identify relevant resources and tools to support staff mental health.’

If you have any questions or concerns you’d like to raise with us, or know some additional information/links that we can add, please contact us at clientservices@ukactive.org.uk, and a member of the team will be in touch.’