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Mind and body exercise programme for better mental health

People with poor mental health are being supported to access community-based physical activities to improve their mental health and wellbeing – thanks to the new Mind and Body programme.

The Solihull programme is a result of a fantastic partnership between Solihull Active, Everyone Active and Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (BSMHFT).

Adults with a diagnosed mental illness under the care of BSMHFT physical therapies team are being supported to attend a safe and effective exercise programme at North Solihull Sports Centre.  Activities include supported gym sessions, swimming and local walking and Couch to 5k running groups.

Beyond the Mind and Body programme, people are encouraged to continue with mainstream exercise at leisure centres, sports clubs, exercise classes and groups to further support their recovery from mental illness.

Councillor Karen Grinsell, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health at Solihull Council said: “This is a great example of partnership working which I am sure will have a positive effect on many lives.

“The programme will give people the confidence and opportunity to enjoy exercise and meet new people.  This will not only improve their physical and mental health but will also improve their quality of life and help them on the road to recovery too.”

Adam Mundy, Area Active Communities Manager at Everyone Active, said: “We are really pleased to be a part of a great initiative which will allow access to leisure facilities to those who might be otherwise deterred due to mental health or financial reasons.

“The sessions will offer them the chance to meet a friendly face who they’ve met before helping them to feel secure in the environment. Our Fitness Motivators will also be on hand to induct and help support people in the supervised sessions.”

Charlotte Bailey, Executive Director at Strategic Partnerships, BSMHFT expressed her support for the project:  “I’m delighted that the Trust is part of the Mind and Body programme. This is a brilliant initiative that gives our service users the opportunity to explore different activities and to discover the beneficial effect of exercise on their mental and physical health. The programme really highlights the value of working in partnership to support our service users.”

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