Home Health Move more for mental health

Move more for mental health

by Guy Murphy

Knowsley Council is supporting Mental Health Awareness Week (13-19 May) and encouraging residents to take action to support their mental health.

This year’s theme is movement and raising awareness of the impact moving more can have on our mental health. Being more active can help boost our mood, self-esteem and help us to sleep better.

Research released by Mental Health Foundation shows that 36% of UK adults find it challenging to find the time for physical activity. There are many reasons why this is the case and that is why Knowsley Council is joining the Mental Health Foundation in urging residents to find moments for movement in their daily routines.

From having a dance while the kettle boils to taking on a run through one of Knowsley’s beautiful greenspaces, every bit of movement counts and can make a huge difference to our mental health.

Here are some top tips to help you get moving:

Start small

The best way to make movement part of your everyday routine is to start with a small, achievable change! That could be going for a short walk, taking the stairs instead of waiting for the lift at work, stretching or dancing while the kettle boils, some gentle chair exercises while watching the TV or some knees raises while the ad-break is on.

Every bit of movement counts, no matter how big or small. Just do what you can within your own ability.

Get out in nature

Knowsley is blessed with many beautiful parks and greenspaces, and with the summer months upon us there is no better time to enjoy them.

Research has shown that people with a strong connection with nature are typically happier in life, as nature can generate many happy emotions, including calmness, joy and creativity.

Going for a stroll, jog or run around our parks is a great way to enjoy nature and get moving. Don’t forget that Knowsley also has outdoor gyms in 15 of our parks and green spaces to use.

Join a group or class

Getting active socially is a great way to move. From running clubs to walking football, there are plenty of groups and classes taking place across Knowsley.

Parkrun takes place every Saturday morning at Stadt Moers Park and is a fun, free and friendly way to walk, jog or run 5k. Find out more: home | Knowsley parkrun | Knowsley parkrun

Residents can also access a wide variety of classes through their local Volair clubs: Volair -Health & Fitness, Gyms, Swimming, Velodrome, BMX, Spa, Football : Volair

Look online

The NHS has lots of free online instructor led exercise videos for you to try in the privacy of your own home. Fitness Studio exercise videos – NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Cllr Graham Morgan, Leader of Knowsley Council, said: “Mental Health Awareness Week provides us with a fantastic opportunity to take the time to talk about our mental health and think about the steps we can take to look after it.

“As the research shows, we are all moving less and this is having an impact on our mental health. That is why we are joining the Mental Health Foundation in urging our residents to make time for movement in their everyday lives.

“Even the smallest amount of movement can make a big difference to how you feel – increasing feel-good hormones and helping reduce symptoms of anxiety and stress. It doesn’t matter if it’s getting our for a run or simply a boogie to the radio, just do what you can to get moving.”

You can also find more advice on movement via the Mental Health Foundation: Boost your mental health by moving more | Mental Health Foundation

Mental health crisis support

If you are in mental health crisis and no longer feel able to cope or be in control of your situation and need urgent help, you can call the NHS Mental Health crisis line. NHS staff will then support you to get the help you need. Available for people of all ages, including children and young people, available 24/7. Call freephone 0800 051 1508.

Mental Health support

Sometimes anxiety can get out of control and start having a negative impact on your daily life. There are lots of places to which you can go or direct people for support:

Adults – support and advice helplines and services

 The services below can offer support to help look after your mental health or if you are concerned about someone you know.

  • Shout – offers confidential text messaging support for times when you need immediate support. The service is staffed by trained volunteers who will work with you to take your next steps towards feeling better. They can help with issues such as stress, anxiety and depression and are able to talk via text 24 hours a day. Simply text the word “REACH” to 85258. Find out more giveusashout.org/
  • Samaritans – a safe place to talk 24 hours a day about whatever is troubling you. Call 116 123 or find out more samaritans.org/
  • Talking Therapies – free NHS therapy for people with common mental health problems such as anxiety or depression, to help you change the way you feel by changing the way you think.  Online therapy accessible 24 hours a day, with weekly online support from a therapist or attend a six-week skills for wellbeing course. One-to-one therapy also available for those who need extra support. Find out more search online for Talking Therapies (Think Wellbeing) : Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust
  • Listening Ear – provides face to face counselling support for people of all ages including children and young people.Call 0151 488 6648.  Find out more https://listening-ear.co.uk
  • Silver Line – for those aged 55 and over is a helpline which provides friendship, conversation and support. Free to call 24 hours a day on 0800 470 8090 from a mobile or landline. Find out more thesilverline.org.uk/
  • AMPARO – support for anyone affected by suicide. Call 0330 088 9255 or find out more amparo.org.uk/
  • StayAlive app – suicide prevention resource which provides accessible support including a safety plan and LifeBox where people can upload images or videos that remind them of their reasons to stay alive. The app is designed to help both those who are having suicidal thoughts and those who are concerned about someone else. Free to download on both iOS and Android devices.
  • Hub of Hope – mental health support database sharing information about local and national support. Find out more hubofhope.co.uk
  • Better Health, Every Mind Matters – expert advice and practical tips from the NHS to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing. Free personalised mental health action plan providing practical tips to help you deal with stress and anxiety, boost your mood, sleep better and feel more in control. You can also join an email support programme where you can get reminders, receive new tips and are encouraged to make looking after your mental wellbeing part of your everyday routine.

 Children and young people – support and advice helplines and services

 The agencies below can offer support to help you look after your own mental health or if you are concerned about someone you know.

  • Listening Ear – provides face to face counselling support for people of all ages including children and young people.Call 0151 488 6648.  Find out more https://listening-ear.co.uk
  • Young Minds – offers lots of practical tips and advice and real-life stories from other young people who have struggled with their mental health and how they got through it. Parents and carers who are concerned about their child’s mental health up to the age of 25 can get advice from the confidential helpline – call 0808 802 5544. Lines are open 9.30am to 4.00pm, Monday to Friday.  Webchat and email advice also available via the website find out more  youngminds.org.uk
  • Papyrus – for children and young people under the age of 35 who are experiencing thoughts of suicide, or anyone concerned about a young person. Call 0800 068 4141 or find out more papyrus-uk.org
  • Knowsley Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) works with young people up to the age of 18 who have emotional, behavioural or mental health difficulties which are causing difficulties in their school, family or social life. Speak to your GP, health visitor, social worker or school health advisor who will be able to refer you into this specialist service.