Dancing may be a way to tone the body, but it is also a dynamic way to exercise the mind. To put this to the test the innovative Reach 4 Dance programme is to visit the Priestley Unit on Thursday 15th October as part of the South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s Festival of Wellbeing.
The Reach 4 Dance initiative targets patients with long-term mental health problems as dance and movement are known to have physical and psychological benefits. The group is made up of professional dancers who aim to bring a bit of entertainment through dance and music to people who may not normally get these opportunities. The performance combines a variety of different musical influences as well as a mixture of current and classical choreography. Reach4Dance specialist adviser Dr Ray Rowden said: “Reach 4 Dance offers people with a mental illness a creative outlet which allows them to express and manage overwhelming feelings or thoughts. Music therapy can increase self-esteem and personal autonomy and the psychotherapeutic use of movement can help those who may find some feelings or experiences too overwhelming or difficult to communicate by words alone.” Patients and staff are invited to put they’re dancing shoes on and take part either at the patients lounge of the Mary Wilkinson Ward, Priestley Unit, between 1.30 – 2pm or between 3pm and 3.30pm at the patients lounge on Ward 18. The dance workshops are part of an 18 day festival being held across Calderdale, Kirklees or Wakefield, designed to mark world mental health day 2009. Over 150 events and activities are being held on the themes of ‘Get moving, get creative and get involved’. The dancing is part of the festival’s ‘get moving’ theme as physical activity is great for mental wellbeing. The Trust’s chief executive, Steven Michael, said: “This is an ideal opportunity to raise awareness of mental health issues, reduce stigma and promote wellbeing. We know that creativity, physical activity and social inclusion all make a big difference to wellbeing so our festival is concentrating on these areas. We want people in our local communities to be able to try something new to enhance their wellbeing.”
For more information contact the Trust’s inclusion team on 0800 587 2108 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about the Festival of Wellbeing and to see the list of remaining events visit www.southwestyorkshire.nhs.uk