Exploring the Power of Movement in Mental Health Awareness Week

Exploring the Power of Movement in Mental Health Awareness Week

Celebrating Mental Health Awareness Month, May is the time to raise awareness and dismantle the stigma around mental health difficulties, as well as understand the ways in which mental health challenges and behaviours of concern can affect all of us, individuals, care providers, families, and our society in general.

Mental Health Month also raises awareness about trauma and the impact it can have on the emotional, physical and mental well-being of children, adults, families and communities. Mental health is essential for people’s overall health and welfare. Prevention is crucial, support is effective, and with the right assistance, people with mental health challenges can live full and productive lives.

As a part of the long-standing commitment to supporting all our team members and the people we serve, Catalyst Care Group supports the integration of mental and physical health and will continue our journey to establish partnerships and programs to ensure access to consistent mental health and support for all who need it.

Moving More for Your Mental Health

Moving more for our mental health is the theme of Mental Health Awareness Week 2024. It aims to increase awareness about the importance of regular movement for our mental health and overall well-being.

Regular physical activity has shown incredible results in supporting mental health and improved quality of life. It also serves as a preventive measure against various physical conditions, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and breast and colon cancer. Despite the widely recognised advantages, physical inactivity remains a prevalent concern in our country and worldwide.

In the UK, 36% of the adult population does not meet the physical activity recommendations outlined by the World Health Organisation.

Similarly, the UK Chief Medical Officers’ physical activity guidelines highlight that people who are the least active have the greatest benefits from making the effort. Even just a slight increase in physical activity can provide a number of physical and mental health benefits.

Being physically inactive has a negative impact on both physical and mental health. As GOV.UK reports, people who are physically inactive are three times more likely of developing moderate to severe depression than active people. Further, physical activity can reduce the risk of depression by up to 30%, along with increased self-esteem, reduced stress, and improved quality of life.

And still, more than a third of people do not meet these recommendations. Sometimes, we all struggle with finding the time to be physically active. However, we need to be aware of the health inequalities regarding physical activity that impact people’s ability to move, such as disabilities, gender, age, geography, ethnicity, and similar.

Further, higher levels of inactivity are identified among certain populations, including people with long-term physical or mental health conditions and people living in socio-economically deprived areas.

However, addressing inequalities in physical activity and supporting people to move more requires a genuine and humanised understanding of the barriers people face.

What Are the Mental Health Benefits of Movement?

Taking care of our physical and mental well-being is crucial, as these aspects of our health are interconnected. Exercise triggers the release of endorphins, often referred to as ‘feel good’ hormones, which can alleviate feelings of stress and anger while enhancing our overall mood. Additionally, regular exercise can improve body image and promote better sleep. Participating in activities that involve social interaction, such as joining a team, class, or group, can further enhance our mental well-being by developing a sense of connection and belonging within a community.

How We Support People to Move More

At the heart of our organisation is the commitment to nurturing a people-centred culture where everyone feels valued and supported. Making mental health and physical activity a priority, we invest in our people to ensure they can provide the best care possible.

We offer comprehensive support programs for our team members, including workshops, resources, and counselling services, to prevent burnout and promote work-life balance. By seeing our team members as whole individuals and prioritising their mental and physical well-being, we create an environment where they feel empowered to thrive.

For the people we support, we go beyond standard care by creating individualised care plans that prioritise their mental health and physical activity needs. These plans are tailored to their unique preferences and abilities, ensuring they receive personalised support to lead fulfilling lives.

By nurturing a culture that values the well-being of our team members and the people we support, we create a supportive environment where people can grow and thrive as human beings.

Regular physical activity can change lives. Watch this video to see the impact of movement on people’s physical and mental well-being


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