Get Set to Go - the link between Physical Activity & Mental Health
Posted: Tue, 05 Mar 2019 14:50
Get Set to Go
In this edition of the Active Humber blog we are exploring the links between physical activity and mental health, which has come under the spotlight this month with the launch of Get Set to Go in Hull and East Yorkshire.
Active Humber has joined forces with local Mental Health charity Hull and East Yorkshire Mind to promote physical activity for better mental health through the Get Set to Go programme. Funded by Sport England and the National Lottery, the programme is designed to support those experiencing mental health problems – such as depression and anxiety – to build their confidence through being physically active and maybe join a sports club, go to the gym or take up a new activity such as tennis, running or fitness activities to name a few.
Active Humber and Hull & East Yorkshire Mind have worked together for a number of years and clearly see the mutual benefits of good physical health and good mental health. The Get Set to Go programme provided the perfect opportunity to jointly apply for funding to deliver the programme locally, where both organisations strengths would compliment each other and lead to a successful programme being planned.
Hull and East Yorkshire Mind and Active Humber will be working closely with partners such as Hull KR Community Trust, Advantage Tennis Coaching, Hull Tigers Trust, Fitmums and Friends, Hull Culture and Leisure and Hull FC to deliver community sessions and to create a more inclusive and welcoming environment within local sport and leisure facilities. As part of this work, we will be offering free Mental Health Awareness for Sport and Physical Activity (MHASPA) training to sport sector staff, which has been developed with UK Coaching.
We will also train Peer Volunteers, who understand how mental health problems can be a barrier to getting more active, to support participants to attend Get Set to Go sessions and try out different activities in their community.
The link between physical activity and mental health
What is the link between physical activity and mental health? We all know that exercise and activity is good for our physical health, but there is increasing evidence to show that physical activity can have a hugely positive effect on your mental health and wellbeing too.
As well as reducing anxiety and stress, combatting low mood increasing self esteem and improving sleep, physical activity has a huge potential to enhance our wellbeing. It is reported that being physically active can reduce a person's risk of depression by 30% (1), and The National Institute for Health Care Excellence (NICE) now advise that physical activity should be one of the first interventions in the treatment of mild to moderate depression (2).
It is advised that adults are active daily, and should try to complete at least 2.5 hours of moderate exercise per week. Getting started can be daunting, but the Mental Health Foundation discusses some of the barriers to getting started including cost, fear of failure, anxiety and even the weather. In the development of Get Set to Go its was acknowledged that there are barriers to getting started, and so the programme was co-developed by people with mental health problems. This meant that "the programme was relevant, meaningful, empowering and based on the needs of people with mental health problems" (3).
After launching in 2015, the Get Set to Go programme has seen more than 3,500 people with mental health problems benefit from new activities in a relaxed and friendly environment. An independent research team from Loughborough University conducted a two-year study which showed that 78% of people rated it as very good or excellent after just 6 months.
Previous participants of the programme reported that Get Set to Go not only increased their activity levels over a 12-month period, but also helped them feel more resilient and better able to cope with challenging life events.
To find out more about the Get Set to Go programme in Hull and East Yorkshire visit www.heymind.org.uk/getsettogo/.
Or if you would like to speak to someone about mental health call 01482 240200 to access support from the Hull and East Yorkshire Mind services and be signposted in the right direction.