Call to get active to boost mental health | News and events

Call to get active to boost mental health

People walking in the countryside

This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is encouraging everyone to move to improve how they feel, and Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) has events organised to encourage people to join in.

From 13 to 19 May, the Mental Health Foundation will focus on the theme of “moving more for our mental health” for its annual awareness campaign.

Wellbeing Norfolk and Waveney is organising walks open to everyone aged 16-plus. Kelvin Colbourn, community development co-ordinator team leader with Wellbeing Norfolk and Waveney, said being active has numerous benefits for mental health, both physiological and psychological.

“Being active offers an holistic approach to improving mental health. Incorporating regular physical activity into your routine can have a profound positive impact on your mood, stress levels, self-esteem, and overall mental wellbeing. In short, being active not only improves your physical health but also makes you feel happier, less stressed, and more confident.

“You don’t have to be registered with Wellbeing to attend. We provide a safe space for all, and welcome everyone to walk and connect with others. We always finish with a cuppa and a chat in a local café.”

The walks will be held throughout the week at different sites, including Norwich, Sheringham, Felbrigg, Lowestoft, Downham Market, Great Yarmouth and Wymondham.

For more information, please see Wellbeing’s website - Social Events - The Wellbeing Service Norfolk and Waveney ( or email

In Suffolk, regular Coffee Crawl organiser Deborah Atkinson, people participation co-ordinator at NSFT, has organised a programme of activities for Mental Health Awareness Week.

She said: “Since the theme this year is about movement, we have tried to make sure we have some fun activities to help people to find moments of movement in their daily routines.”

May 13 will be a chance to walk and talk with ActivWalks in Christchurch Park, Ipswich, 10:30 to 13:00. People are asked to meet at the Soane Street entrance and wear suitable shoes. There will be an optional stop at the Mansion Tea Room.

On May 15, there will be a Coffee Crawl meeting at Geek Retreat, 41a Upper Street, Ipswich, IP4 1DU, from 10:30 to 13:00, which will include an optional workshop Exploring Movement in Art.

On 17 May there’s a free chair yoga session with Yogability, at 524 Woodbridge Road, Ipswich IP4 4PN at 14:00. Spaces are limited so contact Deborah on 07795 267227 for more information and to book a space.

Summing up the week’s significance, Deborah said: “This is a great opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of taking an holistic approach to mental health. By working in partnership with local organisations we can provide safer, kinder and better support to carers, service users and their families so they are empowered to lead healthy lives.”

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