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World Mental Health Day

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Published: 14 October 2020

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This week the Health and Wellbeing team are talking about World Mental Health Day and its theme: Movement.  

Find out how exercise, or even just moving your body, can have a huge impact on how you feel.  

World Mental Health Day is marked annually on 10th October with the aim of shedding light on the stigma surrounding mental illness.  

First commemorated in 1992, today 150 countries around the world recognise the significance of advocating for looking after our mental health.  

One in four of us will struggle with just this issue during our lives; at least half a million more have experienced effects due to the pandemic. 

The World Federation for Mental Health chooses a theme for the event, this year deciding on #MoveForMentalHealth. 

Launching across social media, the hashtag promotes the idea that movement has a significant effect on our mental health. 

  

Movement 

The first thing many people think of when talking about movement is physical exercise.  

Working out, dancing, walking and all the ways we can move our bodies is not only good for us physically, but for our brains as well.  

You could be forgiven for changing your pace of life during the lockdown. Although some people have increased the amount they exercise, space restrictions and the closure of gyms made staying fit harder.  

But there has also been a surge in home exercise programmes. Channels like Yoga with Adrienne and Body Coach from Joe Wicks seeing huge numbers of subscribers.  

Others used their time outside to take up running. According to a study published by the American College of Sports Medicinejogging for just 30 minutes can lift the mood of a person suffering from major depression.  

There are plenty of ways you can start if you’re interested. Try the Couch to 5K app or join a Park Run group.  

  

Acceptance  

Thanks to the stigma behind talking about mental health, many of us find it difficult to admit we need help.   

It’s easy to trick yourself into thinking that you don’t have bad days, that you can accept loss or emotional pain.  

But you don’t have to. There is nothing weak or embarrassing about mental health.   

Accepting that, and asking for help, is the first step on the way to dealing with how you’re feeling.  

But it’s also OK to not know how to start the conversations you need to have.   

Time to Change has created a fantastic resource for University students to understand the importance of ‘asking twice’.  

#AskTwice is a campaign to help people recognise that talking about mental health is hard.  

It’s easy to take part. After you’ve asked you friend or family member how they’re doing, simply ask them again.   

It shows that you’re listening and encourages people to open up about how they actually feel.  

Mental health is incredibly important. It’s finally getting recognised as having a major impact on the way we work, study and live our lives.   

Spend some time this month really looking after yourself and your mind. Keep your body moving and have conversations about mental health.  

Talking can make the biggest impact of all as we share our experiences and learn from one another.  

Be sure to follow #MoveForMentalHealth and #AskTwice on social media.  

If you need mental health support book a face-to-face appointment with the Health and Wellbeing team through Compass.    

Or get in touch on 0207 531 7343 or email them at londonhealth@sunderland.ac.uk.

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