Boost your mental health by getting active during Mental Health Awareness Week 2024

Published: 14 May 2024

runners in darley park

Get active and connect with nature in one of Derby's many parks

Mental Health Awareness Week runs until 19 May, and this year it’s all about doing the things that naturally make us feel better.

Getting active, being in nature, and connecting with friends or making new ones are all things that can help to improve our mental health.

Derby has over 375 parks and open spaces, so there’s no need to go far to relax and refresh your mind. From England’s oldest park, The Arboretum, which is right near the city centre, to the wide views across the Derwent Valley from Allestree Park on the outskirts, there is somewhere to suit you.

Physical activity makes your body release endorphins, which improve your mood, reduce stress hormones, and promote better sleep. To support Mental Health Awareness Week, Derby Active is running a promotion for Derby city residents where you can get a free five-day pass at Derby Arena or Springwood Leisure Centre, plus no joining fee on memberships.

You can also book a check in with a health and wellbeing adviser to talk about mental health and exercise on a first come, first served basis. The offer is available until 19 May. To get involved contact Derby Arena or Springwood Leisure Centre or complete an enquiry form.

More ideas about how to get active, or inspiration about places to enjoy outdoors, can be found on the NHS Derby and Derbyshire Emotional Health and Wellbeing website. The site also includes an interactive map with information about groups who meet up for a range of outdoor physical activity sessions.

Councillor Alison Martin, Derby City Council’s Cabinet Member for Integrated Health and Adult Care, said:

Mental health issues are now a concern for many people, whether they are caused by loneliness, stress, relationship issues, overwork, health concerns, money worries, or other factors. Mental Health Awareness Week is a good opportunity to stop for a moment and think about how we are doing, and how we might address our needs, rather than simply struggling on.

It can be as simple as taking a brisk walk, chatting in the park with a friend, taking the plunge to join a group, or it may entail talking to a health professional. Everyone struggles at some point in their lives, and it is never too late to try to make changes or to seek help.

For regular information about mental health issues and neurodiversity, follow @DCCMHSP on social media.

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