Statistics show that one in four people will experience a mental health problem in any year. With over 10% of the population having depression at any one time. In 2018 we are planning to launch our new pilot project “Get Fit For Life”
Sport can help in people’s recovery, help to mange symptoms and can radically improve the quality of people’s lives. Whether it’s in mainstream, community sports clubs, or in specialised sport and mental health projects, sport can deliver massive benefits. There are three key ways that we believe this project will have a positive impact on participants lives:
- Delivering social inclusion
- Helping physical health
- Improving people’s mental health
Improving people’s mental health
For some people, physical activity can be as powerful as medicine or therapy. In 2010 the Mental Health Foundation said that for people with depression, “Comparative studies have shown that exercise can be as effective as medication or psychotherapy”. Exercise releases natural chemicals like adrenaline and serotonin. It also helps to release muscle tension, raises the body temperature and causes tiredness. These all help relieve stress and provide relaxation – this is of particular benefit for people with mental health problems.
Delivering social inclusion
Making friends, holding down a job, keeping fit, staying healthy… These are all normal parts of everyday life. But the stigma that surrounds mental illness makes all of these things harder for people who have mental health problems. While attitudes to sexuality, ethnicity and other similar issues have improved, people with mental health problems are still often treated unfairly. Sport can help to break this isolation and include people more in everyday life and their communities.
Helping physical health
People with mental health problems are statistically:
- More likely to be obese
- Have 2-4 times greater risk of cardiovascular disease
- Have 2-4 times greater risk of diabetes
- Life expectancy of someone with schizophrenia is typically ten years less – due to physical health problems
Sport and physical activity can help in tackling this inequality. If you are interested in getting involved in this programme either as a participant or a volunteer please contact via our contact page and we will provide you with more information.