jogscotland’s inspiring I’m here campaign is quickly off and running, with jogging groups offering their support to help people overcome mental health barriers which can stop them being active.

Having partnered with Edinburgh agency Brand Oath on powerful branding and digital assets, jogscotland recently launched the new initiative which aims to see numerous jogscotland Jog Leaders taking a pledge to support mental health conversations at their jogging groups.

Already, 65 groups have signed up to the activity and 117 leaders to the SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) training. The initial aim was for 25 groups to sign up.

jogscotland works in partnership with SAMH to promote the mental health benefits of jogging, and the I’m here initiative is part of the organisation’s action plan as a signatory to SAMH’s Mental Health Charter for Physical Activity and Sport.

“We have had significant engagement already and are over the moon with the response,” said Jo Stevens, jogscotland membership development officer. “We all have mental health, sometimes good, sometimes not so good. We want to make sure that anybody who wants to get active with jogscotland is made to feel welcome and supported, and believe that mental health challenges shouldn’t stop people from participating.”

Leaders who take the pledge wear an I’m here badge which they can use as a tool to start conversations with their members and show that they are open to chatting about mental health. The intention is not to turn Jog Leaders into trained counsellors, but to make them feel more confident to provide a listening ear, and know how to help members find more help if they want it.

Jog Leaders are posting inspiring videos or pictures of themselves taking their pledge on social media, adding the I’m here Facebook frame to their profile pictures, and following through on the pledge with specific actions. View here to check out this leader taking his pledge.

“We are proud our Jog Leaders are equipped and open to doing what they can,” added Jo. “Taking the I’m here pledge, posting online and wearing the badge are all ways they can demonstrate their openness to having supportive mental health conversations.”

Stevens offered her thanks to Brand Oath, who have worked with jogscotland from the outset of the campaign through to activation.

“Brand Oath have been a fantastic supporter of the I’m here initiative with jogscotland,” continued Jo. “From the very beginning, they understood the aims of our campaign and what we wanted our logo to achieve.

“We were looking for a design with a human feel that reflected our partnership with the Scottish Association of Mental health, that helped to break down barriers to participation and encourage more mental health conversations at our jog groups. The Brand Oath team has shown incredible patience, understanding and professionalism and their guidance throughout our campaign has been invaluable.”

The launch event also heard from Alex McClintock and Adam Allison, who won the SAMH Mental Wellbeing Award at jogscotland’s annual awards. They are leaders at Jog Con, a group based at Perth Prison, which helps inmates get active and improve their physical and mental health.

All those taking the I’m Here pledge:

  • Have taken online mental health awareness training provided by our partners SAMH
  • Will explain to members that the badge and pledge mean mental health conversations are welcome at their group, and be open to those conversations
  • Will use their social media platforms to share messages on mental health and physical activity
  • Will do their best to support people with mental health issues to participate in their groups, listening to their needs and signposting them to further help if necessary