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New Scheme Uses Exercise to Improve Wellbeing

People with mental health problems will be encouraged to become more physically active following a near £1 million investment from the Scottish Government.

The programme, a collaboration between the Scottish Government and mental health charity SAMH, will build on the well-established links between physical activity and improved mental wellbeing.

The scheme will run initially in three health board areas – Lothian, Fife and Ayrshire and Arran.

Participants will initially be offered interventions to build up their resilience and self-esteem, followed by a tailored 12 week programme of physical activity, designed around the person’s interests, abilities and level of fitness.

SAMH will use the £992,000 fund over the next three years, to build and run the programme. People with mental or physical health conditions, or both, who might benefit from the programme will be referred by existing pathways – for example, through their GPs. They will work with local leisure trusts to provide the physical activity programmes. 

People taking part will be helped by a peer support network, made up of trained people who have had similar mental health problems.

At the end of the course the individual will be given help and support to continue benefitting, both physically and mentally.

For further information visit the Scottish Government website


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