Third of people in Sheffield say exercise has helped their mental health according to survey
Physical activity can help maintain positive mental health in many ways, on its own or in combination with other treatments.
According to a survey commissioned by mental health charity Mind, more than a third of people (37 per cent) in Sheffield said that exercise provided the opportunity to have conversations about mental health once or on multiple occasions.
Three in five people (60 per cent) also said that exercise makes them feel comfortable enough to have conversations or open up about their mental health.
Matt Casabolt, 31, from Sheffield, has struggled with depression for almost a decade, and in early 2021, he started experiencing hallucinations and visual experiences and began seeing a specialist psychotherapist for early intervention for psychosis.
In late October, Matt had a psychotic breakdown and was recently diagnosed with having psychosis.
He has tried many things to find out what might help, but it is walking that has made a huge difference to his mental health.
The 31-year-old spends a lot of time exploring the Peak District – as the surrounding nature helps him digest things and slow down.
Mind is inviting Matt and others to take part in Move for Mind - a 30-day exercise and fundraising challenge - to start a healthy new habit.
The 30 days of movement can be carried out anytime between now and 2 March 2022, with rest days encouraged throughout to allow time for the body to recover.
The initiative will raise vital funds for mental health services, including Mind Infoline and the online peer support platform, Side by Side.
Matt will be doing Move for Mind with a mixture of walking and hiking and hopes this will be a good way of building his fitness back up to try and manage the issues caused by antipsychotic medication, such as weight gain and low energy.
Matt says: “I’m doing Move for Mind to raise funds so that Mind can continue their vital services and continue to support people with a wide range of mental health issues. Having suffered from psychosis, getting active and being outside in nature has played a key part in my recovery and Move for Mind will give me that extra incentive to get out and exercise. I can’t wait to get stuck into the challenge. It’s given me something to focus on.”
Kathleen Miles, director of fundraising at Mind, adds: “By taking part in Move for Mind, not only will you be starting up a healthy habit, but you’ll be joining us in the fight for mental health too.
"The pandemic has had a lasting impact on our mental health, especially for those of us with existing mental health problems, and so many of us aren’t getting the support we need.
"The money raised through Move for Mind will support Mind’s Infoline, giving someone a voice to talk to when things are too much, keep our online community Side by Side open for anyone feeling isolated, and help us to keep pushing people in power to protect our rights and support our needs.”
To support Matt’s Move for Mind, visit https://www.moveformind.org.uk/fundraising/move-for-mind-2022 and to sign up, go to www.moveformind.org.uk/