Mental Health Awareness week 2024

This years Mental Health Awareness Week 2024, hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, is all about getting out and about and finding time for the things you most enjoy. 

This year, it takes place from May 13–19, and the theme is ‘Movement’. 

Movement is so important to protecting our mental health, it brings us a sense of happiness, satisfaction and worthwhile. But in our busy lives, so many of us struggle to make time to move as work, family, relationships, tragedy, and many more of life’s unpredictable events take priority, pushing aside the movement we all need. 

So, what can we do to find moments for movement? 

Mental Health Awareness Week Promotional graphic

Three tips to get you moving more 

1.Your movement, your way. 

Woman gardening pulling up turnips.

Movement can be cheap and cheerful; it’s not all about gym memberships, team sports, and exercise groups. It’s about doing what makes you happy. This could be gardening, grabbing a coffee and going for a walk, or strolling down to the beach to take in the fresh sea air.  

If you have a mental health condition such as anxiety, some forms of movement may be challenging. Moving your way will make you feel comfortable and keep you stimulated. 

Many things can restrict your ability to move, such as where you live and the unpredictable British weather. So, when planning movement, always consider your environment. Is there a nearby park, nature reserve, beach, or woods that can create opportunities for movement? 

Moving in nature is found to have a more positive effect on our wellbeing. Look at the links below to find your local parks and woods and for more information on the benefits of outdoor activity.  

For more information on walking for health, including some guidance to follow before you get started visit the NHS website here.

2.Move Together 

Two woman walking along the seafront.

Moving makes us stronger, especially when we do it together. We are all guilty of cancelling our plans to exercise, much more so when we’re doing it alone.  

However, when others are relying on you to turn up for a fitness class or meet them for a walk it can provide the support and motivation needed to help you stick to your plans.  

Moving together is all about sharing positive experiences with one another, meeting people, and making friends, whether it’s playing a game in the park or joining a local club. The social interaction we gain from being active can boost our self-esteem and brings us closer together. 

Take a look at the links below to find your nearest park run and find out about the range of sport, leisure, and recreation activities taking place in East Sussex. 

3.Finding time to move 

AdobeStock 686593770 • East Sussex Community Voice

Think about ways you can make movement work for you; a small change to your routine can have a big impact. By parking further away from your destination, doing chores your way, putting on your favorite music and dancing away those dishes, or instead of sitting down while talking on the phone, stand up and walk around the room.  These simple adjustments can add some extra movement to your day and reduce inactivity. 

Start small; don’t overwhelm yourself with a big challenge. Take your time and progress at your own pace, and you’ll soon feel better.  

To find out more about Mental Health Awareness Week and the Mental Health Foundations theme of “Movement: Moving more for our mental health” visit their website here.  

Reaching out for support  

The Sussex Mental Healthline offers 24/7 mental health telephone listening support, advice, information and signposting to anyone experiencing difficulties, or who may be in crisis and in urgent need of help, with their mental health. 

You can contact them by calling NHS 111 and select option 2 or dialling 0800 0309 500 

The service can access Text Relay calls and New Generation Text calls from hearing and speech impaired callers on 0300 5000 101. 

The service is free and is available to anyone of any age, concerned about their own mental health or that of a relative or friend. This includes carers and healthcare professionals. 

For extra support with your mental wellbeing take a look at the websites below: 

Find out about becoming a Mental Health First Aider this Mental Health Awareness week 

Mental Health First Aid is an internationally recognised training course, designed to teach people how to spot the signs and symptoms of mental ill health and provide help on a first aid basis. 

MHFA (Mental Health First Aid) England offer a variety of training both online and in person, from one off mental health awareness sessions to in-depth MHFA training.  

MHFA training courses are developed to help people identify, understand, and help someone who may be experiencing a mental health issue. 

 MHFA won’t teach you to be a therapist, but it will teach you to listen, reassure and respond, even in a crisis – and prepare you to stop a potential crisis from occurring. 

As a MHFAider® you will be able to: 

  • Recognize warning signs of mental ill health and provide them with first-level support and early intervention. 
  • Have the confidence to approach and support someone while keeping yourself safe. 
  • Empower someone to access the support they need for recovery or symptom management. 
  • Understand how to support positive wellbeing and tackle stigma in the world around you.

For more information or to find the course that suit you best click here 

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