Get Moving for mental health
Posted Friday 3 October 2008
England's first mass participation event boosting wellbeing and breaking down the barriers of mental health stigma on 4 - 12 October 2008
Leading mental health charity Mind today launches 'Get Moving', a week of mass participation events which will raise awareness of the mental health benefits of physical activity while tackling the stigma and discrimination that people with mental health problems experience. The campaign is endorsed by famous faces such as Mel C, Kym Marsh and Monty Don. Get Moving is part of Time to Change, a huge four-year project funded by £16m from the Big Lottery Fund and £2m from Comic Relief which is the most ambitious initiative ever to at last tackle public attitudes towards mental health issues.
We are asking over 10,000 people to do something active for Get Moving at nearly 300 events in England. Many will Walk a mile for mental health with the target of having at least 10,000 miles walked between the start of Get Moving, marked by a launch at Cornwall (4 October) and the end, marked by an event in London on World Mental Health Day (10 October). Organisations such as BTCV, Ramblers Association and Natural England as well as groups and individuals will take part in events ranging from running and football to gardening and dancing. For details of local events please visit the Get Moving website at www.getmovingweek.org.uk.
One in four people will experience a mental health problem at some point yet there is still vast public misunderstanding about mental health issues and attitudes have worsened over recent years. Based on international evidence of what works, Get Moving will bring people with and without experience of mental health problems together through fun activities to break down barriers.
Exercise is proven to be an excellent way to give your mind and body a workout. Research by Mind showed that just one walk in the countryside could substantially reduce feelings of depression and increase self esteem. We want people to Get Moving all year round by encouraging participants to pledge to increase their activity levels for the next 12 months on the website. Get Moving will take place annually in the run-up to 2012 by which time we aim to have at least 250,000 participants.
Saturday 4 October
The campaign will be launched at a mass bulb-planting event at Cornwall's Eden Project where community groups will join Olympic swimmer Cassie Patten. Throughout Get Moving visitors to the Eden Project will be encouraged to plant their own bulb with the aim of having at least 5,000 planted by the end of the week.
Friday 10 October
In London, hundreds of people will come together on World Mental Health Day to Walk a mile for mental health in Battersea Park. They will be led by Olympic medallist Phillips Idowu, model Sophie Anderton and actor Joe McGann in an exercise extravaganza.
Mind's Chief Executive Paul Farmer said:
"Get Moving launches the most ambitious and significant mental health movement of our time and marks the start of a new and exciting approach to tackling mental health stigma. By bringing people together in fun activities all over England, we hope to challenge misconceptions about mental health problems and raise awareness of the benefits that exercise has on mental health."
Peter Wanless, Chief Executive of the Big Lottery Fund, said:
"I am delighted that this £16m Big Lottery Fund investment is making such a vital difference in working to reduce stigma and discrimination against people experiencing mental health problems across England. This week's exciting programme of national events is an excellent example of how lottery funding can help to bring together people of all ages and abilities across the community to promote the health and wellbeing of some of society's most vulnerable people."
Get Moving is one strand of 'Time to Change', a groundbreaking new awareness programme that aims to improve public attitudes towards mental health and challenge stigma and discrimination which is being led by Mind, Rethink, Mental Health Media and the Institute of Psychiatry. Time to Change is mental health's biggest ever voluntary-sector led initiative with funding from the Big Lottery Fund's Well-being programme (£16m) and the largest grant ever given by Comic Relief (£2m). On 1 October 2008 a new website, www.time-to-change.org.uk, went live as well as a pilot of a local awareness-raising campaign in Cambridge.