We don’t always consider how the various barriers towards being active can be too significant to overcome for some, and that these many need greater support to get started.
For this reason, Uniting the Movement focuses on supporting people on their journey to living a healthier and more active lifestyle by helping remove barriers and scaling up the enablers that will address these inequalities.
What we'll do
We know that mental health challenges start young – half are established by the age of 14 and three quarters by the age of 24 – and that’s why, as a foundational step into children and young people’s mental health we will be conducting an evidence review.
The aim is to establish the evidence for the role of sport and physical activity in the treatment of diagnosed mental health challenges for this segment of the population, and to identify what works and where the gaps are to inform future investment.
Through our adult funds, we will continue to explore how we can better connect sport and physical activity provision with local NHS Talking Therapy services so more people have the opportunity and support to access physical activity as a treatment.
Plus we will be exploring the impact this has on clinical outcomes and comparing against standard talking therapy.
We will also work with partners to develop a series of support resources to make it easier for mental health services to understand how to go about embedding physical activity into routine care, plus we will keep building on our existing work with Rethink Mental Illness.
There's currently a lack of studies that focus on the role of physical activity on those affected by severe mental illness, so in order to tackle this shortage of knowledge we'll explore how physical activity can play a major role in improving physical and mental health, as well as social and overall wellbeing in Tower Hamlets and North East Lancashire
Working in local health systems, these trailblazing projects will aim to improve the support to those from culturally diverse communities and deprived communities.
This will require understanding the determinants (barriers and enablers) to physical activity for people severely affected by mental illness, while specifically exploring how local systems can better support people living with severe mental illness.
But that’s not it!
Our long-term relationship with mental health charity Mind, will focus on helping community-based sport and physical activity organisations to support the mental health of people experiencing inequalities, with a focus on young people aged 11+ (especially those experiencing trauma), people from ethnic minority groups (who are both disproportionately impacted by mental health problems and inactivity) and people from the most deprived socio-economic groups.
We'll also continue to advocate to national and local policy makers the role of physical activity as a helpful population health tool and a driver for supporting the nation's mental health and wellbeing.
While we know the coming months and years won't be without their challenges, we have one simple ask of you today (and every day, actually) - when things get a little difficult or stressful, get up and move.
Keep moving while you make that cuppa.
Get yourself outdoors and take notice of nature.
Turn that Teams meeting into a walking meeting.
Your mind and your body will thank you for it.