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Blair’s POV: The Mental Health Crisis


Each month Blair McHaney, the CEO of MXM, sits down with Rachel Zabonick-Chonko, the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine, for a frank discussion on the current state of the fitness industry. This month they are joined by special guest Victor Brick.


Top of Mind Thoughts on Mental Health and the Industry:

  • Government money for facilities is drying out, but money for mental health is expanding rapidly.
  • Gyms don’t speak enough on the impact fitness on mental health and mental well-being.
  • Send this video to your local representatives.
  • Top reason for all age groups for exercising is mental well-being. This was before the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • People are demanding a solution to their mental health issues from gym owners.
  • Loneliness and lack of coping skills are detrimental to mental well-being and were made worse during the pandemic.
  • Surround yourself with positive people.
  • As an industry we need to position ourselves as a solution to loneliness and coping skills.
  • SAWUBONA — an African Zulu greeting that means, “I see you.”
  • What can we do as an industry? We can take the concept of hello and goodbye further. When we ask how someone is doing, we need to mean it.
  • There is a dual continuum of mental health.
  • Languishing to flourishing.
  • We are a part of self-care for individuals.
  • We are a solution for stress relief for way more people than we realize.
  • We need language and ways to talk about mental health in our industry.
  • We need to get this language stronger and into the legislators’ hands.
  • We have to become an essential part of the health care delivery system.
  • We are delivering health care. Without us it would be very hard to have mental wellness offerings.
  • Focus in on mental health wellness in your club marketing.
  • Have genuine connections with your members. Be who you say you are.
  • Have an all hands staff meeting. Explain the second pandemic to your staff which is the mental health crisis. Then explain to them how as an organization you can help.
  • Practice what you preach. It is more important than ever.
  • Your staff will judge you more now than ever before by what you stand for.
  • You will enhance your perception to your staff by stressing mental health as a priority. Not to make sales, but because it is the right thing to do and it is needed.

What Can Clubs Do Now?

Look at your programming. Add programs that will help connectivity or reposition ones you currently have to focus on mental health.

  • Men are suffering the most because they are least likely to ask for help. Consider offering men-only yoga classes.
  • Forrest bathing.
  • Laugh yoga.
  • Laughter is effective whether you mean it or not.
  • Have shorter classes to engage more members.
  • Habit instigation vs. habit execution.
  • Mental health certification in the works.
  • Move Your Mental Health Report. Send this report to congressmen.

For more insights from Blair McHaney and to learn more about MXM, the world’s leading experts on Operational Member Experience Management, visit mxmetrics.com.

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko is the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@peakemedia.com.

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1 Comment

  1. LInda Mitchell June 26, 2021



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