How it all began

Sport in Mind is the brainchild of Neil Harris and its origins can be traced to the simple act of trying to help a childhood friend, who had become mentally unwell. In 2009, Neil devised a bespoke sport and physical activity programme to help aid his friend Jamie’s recovery. Little did he realise this would inspire a charity which would help thousands of people afflicted by mental illness.

Jamie was in a terrible place. His mood was low, he had become socially isolated and was reluctant to engage with traditional mental health services. Sport was Neil’s passion and he believed the best way to help improve his friend’s mental and physical health was by designing a physical activity programme.

Jamie was initially reluctant, but with patient encouragement Neil persuaded him to take part in some gentle physical activity. Within 4 weeks Jamie experienced improvement in his health and wellbeing. For the next 6 months, Neil worked closely with Jamie, utilising his bespoke sport and physical activity programme and the results were staggering. Within 9 months Jamie’s symptoms had significantly reduced, he was showing improved levels of self-esteem and was back in full-time employment.

8 years on, Jamie continues to manage his condition by engaging in sport and physical activity on a regular basis. He has been relapse free for 8 years and is enjoying life!