Get moving for May Mental Health Week with Active Lambeth

“Mental health affects us all and it is important that we all support each other with kindness and empathy,” says Margherita Sweetlove, Mental Health & Wellbeing specialist with Lambeth Public Health. 

Margherita was delighted at the success of Lambeth’s January event for London’s Great Mental Health Day . “It was great to see so many passionate people coming together to find out more about how to do just that in their personal lives and in their roles as community leaders,” she says.

Those views are echoed by Cllr Jim Dickson, Cabinet Member for Healthier Communities. “We had a brilliant emotional support workshop run by the amazing Juney Muhammad (Mental Health Promotion Lead, South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust) with residents, community organisations and support providers from across Lambeth. The message is that we know many of us need support with our mental health – it’s vital we talk about it!”

Vicki Stephenson, Parental Mental Health Podcast Host for Blue MumDays (see link below), pictured left with Margherita,  found the session really engaging and informative.   “Juney was a brilliant and dynamic facilitator. The key learnings I took from it was the importance to hold space for people – even if they don’t want to speak you can still sit alongside them with empathy.  Juney’s point about sympathy vs empathy was a great reminder on how important self advocacy is for people – you’re not expected to give them all the answers, nor is it good to.  Helping them help themselves is the right way to assist them in their recovery.  Finally it was good to discuss boundaries and how to protect our own mental wellbeing.”

Time to get moving

Now hot on the heels of that success comes the call to Get Moving for Mental Health Awareness Week 13-19 May with  Active Lambeth Leisure Centres running a host of free activities for Lambeth residents to get moving and boost their mental wellbeing throughout the month.

Based on the Five Steps to Wellbeing, try these tips to boost your mental health and learn more about the exciting range of Active Lambeth opportunities to try out:

1: Be active

Physical exercise activates your brain’s decision-making and emotions areas. Just 15 minutes a day can boost your mood and make you feel better.

Exercise can be scary, especially if you’re not used to it. So we’ve got fun ways to make it more appealing. Join Active Lambeth’s fitness challenges, try climbing walls, assault courses and family areas, make a swimming pool splash and more for everyone from children to older adults.

2: Connect

Feeling connected to other people helps us thrive as part of a group. It’s a great way to remind ourselves that we’re important and valued.

We’re helping people socialise, with quizzes for over-60s, Leisure Centre karaoke rooms because singing together is great for wellbeing, and a performance of the Black Men’s Consortium at the Brixton Rec.

3: Keep Learning

Knowing that you’re learning and developing can boost your self-esteem, and setting goals can help you feel more productive and more in control of your life.

Maybe you just haven’t found the right activity to get you moving yet? That’s why Lambeth leisure centres encourage people to try new things – like Pickleball. They’re also offering free mental health awareness training  – learning to spot signs that someone might need help, how to start that conversation and help them find the right support.

4: Give

Anything from a friendly word with the bus driver in the morning, to helping out a friend or volunteering in the community also boosts your own mood.

Volunteering can lead to new skills, work experience, and feeling like part of something with a purpose in life. Find out more at Volunteering | Lambeth Council.

5: Take Notice

Being aware of how you’re feeling can help you understand what triggers stress or anxiety. And there’s evidence that enjoying ‘the moment’ makes you more positive about life.

Lambeth Leisure Centres will support mindfulness with discounts on massages, yoga and pilates classes, online or in the comfort of your own home. There will be classes suitable for all ages.

Take part in Mental Health Week at Active Lambeths Leisure Centres

To take part in these activities, or find out more about the latest membership offers, visit Active Lambeth.

Get support

Lambeth’s Living Well Network Alliance supports people in Lambeth who are experiencing mental illness or distress. Learn more and find out where to get help.

Karen Hooper

More info on Blue MumDays

Listen here



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