Staff and residents from our supported housing service in Middlesbrough celebrated World Mental Health Day in October by getting active at their local gym, working up a sweat and raising awareness among local residents about the benefits of exercise for mental health. 

Everyone knows that regular exercise is good for the body, but exercise is also one of the most effective ways to improve your mental health. Regular exercise can have a profoundly positive impact on depression, anxiety, ADHD, and more. It also relieves stress, improves memory, helps you sleep better, and boosts overall mood! The best part is, you don’t have to be a fitness fanatic to reap the benefits.

The Middlesbrough Registered Care Housing team celebrated World Mental Health Day at a local DW Fitness gym, as we wanted to raise awareness of how exercising could help individuals improve their mental health and well-being, as well as it being a fun opportunity to get out into the local community and meet people.

Staff at the gym were very supportive of our event; we displayed a notice board which was full of information about mental health, and distributed leaflets, pens and notepads to members of the public to raise awareness of MHM and our services.

The gym staff even put on a fitness challenge for the day; staff and members of the public were encouraged to use the rowing machine to reach a target of 5821 calories burned, representing the 5821 people who sadly took their own lives in 2017. When we left the gym they were already well on their way, at 3500 already, and we heard later that the involvement from the public had been great and they’d absolutely smashed this target!

Staff at the gym also gave free passes to the people being supported by our service, so they could attend the gym for the day if they wished. One of our clients wanted to access the swimming pool to give it a go - he totally enjoyed his swim, and would now like to go each week. This is a great result and will really help him to stay well.

We all had a lovely day, and can’t thank the local DW Fitness staff enough for their support!

- Diane