The NHS provider of mental health services in Kirklees is reminding people of the importance of exercise for good wellbeing for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week.
For one week each May the Mental Health Foundation campaigns around a specific theme for Mental Health Awareness Week. The theme for this year’s campaign, which runs from 13-19 May, is physical activity and exercise, highlighting the impact they have on mental health and wellbeing.
South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust knows only too well the positive impact physical activity can have on physical and mental wellbeing and encourages activity in the delivery of care.
Enfield Down in Huddersfield aims to increase access to wellbeing activities already being provided for service users currently resident at the rehabilitation unit. Activities available include walking groups, tai chi classes and monthly sporting events at venues in the local community such as golf, ten pin bowling and swimming.
Enfield Down is an inpatient unit that provides recovery and rehabilitation services for people experiencing mental health problems who need a longer time to re-establish their independence.
Funds from the Trust’s Creative Minds initiative will help to buy equipment for the activities including golf clubs, table tennis bats, swimming equipment, bike hire and pay for hire fees at local venues as well as transport to and from events.
The additional funds will buy equipment that people can keep as their own. This will allow people to carry on with the activity after they have left the service, allowing them to maintain their physical fitness levels and making the transition to living within the community easier.
Taking part in this project will bring a number of benefits to service users including boosting physical activity levels and improving mental wellbeing through being engaged in motivating, competitive activities. There will also be opportunities for service users to interact with local environments, community venues and public services, which will help to build their confidence in their abilities as they widen their experiences.
Jenny McGuigan, occupational therapist at Enfield Down said, “We try to find as many ways as possible to engage our residents to take part in physical activity and see every day the benefits this can have. We hope the awareness week will help emphasise how beneficial exercise is to mental health and wellbeing and that people will give it a go.”
Jenny continued, “Getting active doesn’t have to mean sweating it out in the gym or running yourself ragged on the treadmill. Physical activity can be anything from competitive sport and exercise to active hobbies such as walking, dancing or activities of daily living, such as housework and DIY. Simply put – any movement that makes you feel warm and slightly out of breath.”
Physiotherapists recommend that adults exercise at moderate intensity for 30 minutes, 5 times a week, but this could be broken up into three or four smaller chunks. Just being a little more active throughout the day can benefit all-round wellbeing.
For more information about South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, including how to become a member, visit www.southwestyorkshire.nhs.uk