Residents are being encouraged to move more for their mental health during Mental Health Awareness Week 2024 which begins today (Monday 13 May, 2024).

Mental Health Awareness Week brings the UK together to focus on promoting good mental health, tackling stigma and providing people with the information and tools to understand and prioritise their mental health.

Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Adults and Wellbeing, said: "One of the best things we can do for our mental health and wellbeing is to be active. How we feel can change from day to day and, sometimes, that can make moving more feel like a challenge. We want to help people to get active by finding moments for movement in their daily routines. 

"Any amount of physical activity is good for you, so don’t worry if you need to start off easy. The most important thing is to do something you enjoy, as you're more likely to keep doing it.

"Being active can help boost your self esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy levels, and reduce stress. It can also reduce your risk of developing major illnesses like coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer."

Here are some top tips to help people improve their mental health by moving more: 

  • Find moments for movement every day - use the time you spend waiting for the kettle to boil or for your children to come out of school, or for a bus to arrive. These moments will all add up.
  • Set small, achievable goals - it might be walking to the end of your street at first. Then you can push yourself a little further each day, boosting your confidence and mood.
  • Take a break from sitting - research shows that it’s unhealthy to remain seated for long periods working at a desk, driving or watching TV, so set a timer to take regular breaks to stand up, walk around and stretch.
  • Find the fun - choose activities you enjoy that get you moving. Fun alongside movement will increase your motivation and the psychological benefits.
  • Get moving with others - social connections are great for our mental health. Make your catch up with friends more active, and look out for groups and activities happening in your area.
  • Move in nature - research suggests that moving in nature has greater positive effects on our wellbeing compared to being indoors. Parks, gardens and nature reserves all provide opportunities for movement.
  • Try something new - pushing yourself to try new things opens up to new opportunities for movement as well as giving your confidence a boost.

There are also a number of events taking place over the coming days to get residents moving, meeting others and using the opportunity to get talking about their mental and physical health and wellbeing:

  • Every Monday: West Park Walk and Talk, 1.30 to 2.30pm. To join, please email the Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust's Lets Talk Service at or call 07423 687464.
  • Tuesday 14 May: Whitmore Reans Library Wellbeing Walk, 10am to 11.30am. No need to book.
  • Wednesday 15 May: Finchfield Library Wellbeing Walk, 10am to 11.30am. No need to book.
  • Thursday 16 May: Central Library Wellbeing City Walking Tour, 11am to 12.30pm. No need to book.
  • Every Sunday until 19 September: Park Yoga at East Park, 9.30am to 10.30am. No need to book, bring a mat or towel.
  • Tuesday 21 May: East Park Library Wellbeing Walk, 10am to 11.30am. No need to book.

The NHS Every Mind Matters website provides a range of tools and advice on how you can look after your wellbeing and support those around you. 
If you are concerned about your mental health and wellbeing and wish to seek advice the following services:

  • To speak to someone and describe how you are feeling call the Rethink Black Country 24/7 support line on 0800 008 6516. The service will listen to you, offer advice, and connect you with the right support for you. 
  • You could also contact The Samaritans by calling 116 123 or emailing - emails will be replied to within 24 hours. 
  • If you would prefer to speak to someone in person, support is available at The Sanctuary Hub, open between 6pm and 11pm Monday to Friday and from 12 noon until 11pm at weekends and Bank Holidays. You can walk into the Hub at 29-31 Temple St, Wolverhampton WV2 4AN during these hours to speak to someone.

For more information about Mental Health Awareness Week, please visit The Mental Health Foundation