jogscotland’s inspiring I’m here campaign continues to make great strides, with Jog Leaders from more than 70 jog groups taking the I’m here pledge.

Having partnered with Edinburgh agency Brand Oath on powerful branding and digital assets, jogscotland launched the new initiative at the end of January.

It aims to see numerous jogscotland Jog Leaders taking a pledge to support mental health conversations at their jogging groups.

The initial objective was for 25 groups to sign up, but with over 70 groups behind the work and over 110 leaders to the SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) training, organisers are delighted with the response.

Jog leaders from Elgin to Erskine and Peebles to Peterhead have so far signed up, highlighting the support from across Scotland.

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.

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.

Speaking in the current issue of Stride magazine, Jo Stevens, jogscotland membership development officer, said: “I am blown away at the response and support our leaders have shown for the I’m here pledge.

“At the initial launch of the campaign, I was hoping that 25 to 30 groups would sign up but we have far exceeded our expectations. It’s been very emotional watching the pledge videos, and our jog leaders have been taking the lead in talking about their own mental health. I am so proud of them and what I’m here has achieved.”

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.

“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.”

“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.”

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