New course aims to get 10,000 people moving to boost mental health

The campaign aims to get 10,000 people in Suffolk moving to boost mental health (file photo)

The campaign aims to get 10,000 people in Suffolk moving to boost mental health (file photo) - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star newspapers are backing a campaign to help 10,000 people in Suffolk understand and talk about the benefits of exercise to mental health.

Experts from Suffolk Mind, working with the Suffolk County Council-led Most Active County programme, have launched a free 20-minute e-learning course which aims to give people an insight into how being active can enhance wellbeing.

The free online course involves four short animations focusing on the need for movement, the mental health barriers to physical activity, how people can be helped to increase their physical activity levels and how physical activity can often be the key to meeting emotional needs.

The launch comes several days after the EADT and Ipswich Star hosted the Welcome Back to Wellbeing conference, which investigated the extent of mental health issues in the county, how they are being addressed and provided advice on how to improve wellbeing.

Hundreds of people signed up to the online event on Wednesday, in the middle of Mental Health Awareness Week, to hear from a number of mental health professionals.

The conference was told how the number of young people in Suffolk seeking support for mental health issues had risen as the impact of the Covid lockdowns has been felt.

Brad Jones, editor of the EADT and Ipswich Star, said: "We’re getting behind this campaign because we didn’t want the Welcome Back to Wellbeing event to be a one-off.


Brad Jones has been appointed group editor of the East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star. Picture

Brad Jones has been appointed group editor of the East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star. Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant


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"Being active is an important part of staying emotionally healthy and by encouraging people to talk about it we hope it will help them appreciate the link between exercise and mental health and ultimately resolve to become more active."

Stuart Keeble, Suffolk's director of public health, said: "I welcome the East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star’s backing of the movement and mental health campaign.

Stuart Keeble, director of public health for Suffolk Picture: SUFFOLK COUNTY COUNCIL

Stuart Keeble, Suffolk's director of public health, backed the scheme - Credit: Suffolk County Council

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"Improving Suffolk people’s mental health is a priority for Public Health so anything that supports this is to be applauded. I hope the course will help more Suffolk residents to feel the benefits of movement."

Ezra Hewing, head of education at Suffolk Mind, added: "Physical activity is good for our mental health and importantly it doesn’t have to be hard – nobody has to commit to running a marathon to get the benefits.

Ezra Hewing for Suffolk MIND feature.

Ezra Hewing, head of education at Suffolk Mind - Credit: Gregg Brown

"By taking part in this fun course people will discover how they can meet other emotional needs, so they can feel more in control of their lives and connected to other people, get better sleep, and find a sense of achievement just by taking gentle steps every day."

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