To mark World Mental Health Day on Saturday 6 October 2012 at 10.30am, four ‘Mind, Body & Stroll’ walks will take place across the South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust area.
There will be four short walks (approximately 30 minutes) taking place at the same time on the same day. These events are open to everyone – individuals, families and groups (under 18’s must be accompanied by an adult).
The meeting points are:
1. Newcastle Centre – Newcastle Promenade
2. Visitors Centre – Crawfordsburn Country Park, Bangor
3. Education Room – Mount Stewart, Newtownards
4. Civic Centre – Lisburn Towpath
In a recent article on the BBC website, it was stated that just five minutes of exercise in a “green space”, such as a park, can boost mental health. There is growing evidence that combining activities such as walking or cycling with nature boosts well-being. In the latest analysis, UK researchers looked at evidence from 1,250 people in 10 studies and found fast improvements in mood and self-esteem.
Walking is accessible to almost everyone and doesn’t cost any money. In recent years there has been a large increase in the number of walking groups available locally for all ages.
Fiona Molloy, Chairperson for the World Mental Health Day Events Committee and Health Development Specialist, South Eastern HSC Trust said: “Walking and mental health are so closely related, especially group walking. The friendships and social connections people make when they walk, alongside of the physical and mental health benefits, make this event truly exciting. I really hope that people who come along find that they want to learn more about walking in their community and that this is just the first step in them taking part in group walking in green spaces in the future”.