Moving for our Mental Health

Approaching Mental Health Awareness Month


Mental Health Awareness

Mental Health Awareness Week takes place this week (Monday 13th May 2024).

For me, the most striking thing about all this year’s campaigns is the brilliant theme set by the Mental Health Foundation. Movement: moving for our mental health.

Exercise reduces anxiety and depression, and helps prevent physical illnesses:

And recent research shows that 56% of people found that exercising regularly helped them to alleviate stress and feelings of burnout.

Sadly, people living with severe mental illness die on average 10-20 years younger than the general population, often from (avoidable in some cases) physical illness, including diabetes, heart disease, bowel cancer and breast cancer. My friends and colleagues in the NHS and Social Care systems will all testify to this sad but undeniable truth.

Move your way

We know there can be barriers to exercising, like physical health, fear of the new and unknown, accessibility, time, money, body image or lack of open space. If you experience any of these, you can easily

. This could be anything from finding free activities locally, exercising with a friend … to pacing yourself and healthier eating and drinking.

This May, why not ‘move’ for your mental health?

Movement doesn’t need to look like gym membership, fell running or tackling a rugby scrum – and it doesn’t need to cost you anything. It could look much more like stepping off the bus a stop early, walking with a friend instead of meeting for coffee, taking your child to a park after school, or dancing in your kitchen while you cook dinner. And it’s really important that it’s fun!

Finally, remember you are not alone. includes links to all the brilliant mental health support groups such as Mind and Mental Health UK (who provided the ideas for this blog!) plus hundreds of other local and national groups offering free support and friendship for all life’s ups and downs. It’s free to use, has no annoying ads and never asks for your data or anything about you.

Take care out there.