Make the first move for mental health

People in Oxfordshire are encouraged to take up physical activity to help improve their mental wellbeing this Mental Health Awareness Week (15 to 21 May 2023).

This year's theme is ‘Make the first move for your mental health’, with a focus on the positive impact physical activity can have on reducing the symptoms of some mental health conditions, like anxiety and stress.

Councillor Mark Lygo, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Equalities, said: “While some anxiety can help us to focus or take extra care when needed, if it gets too much for us or persists, it can cause issues. However, there are ways that we can all manage symptoms of anxiety and stress.

“Physical activity is not only great for our physical wellbeing, but it also makes us feel better mentally too. Exercise helps release endorphins into our body that make us feel happier, more relaxed and can help to improve sleep and concentration. 

“There are simple NHS-approved programmes like ‘Couch to 5k’ and ‘Active Ten’ to help with your exercise journey. But it doesn’t have to be a hassle – going for a brisk walk can make all the difference to your physical and mental wellbeing.”

Every Mind Matters provides advice and practical tips to help people to look after their mental health and wellbeing. 

Read more about it on the NHS’ Every Mind Matters website.

More information

  • For more information on where to get help, information and support for suicide, self-harm, mental health and wellbeing visit Oxfordshire County Council’s website
  • Call NHS 111 for mental health advice for adults and children from the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire 24/7 mental health helpline.
  • Oxfordshire Safe Haven is open every day (11.30am until 9.30 pm) for people who are experiencing a mental health crisis. Phone: 01865 903 037, Email: osh@oxfordshiremind.org.uk
  • Anyone in Oxfordshire can call, text, or email and get free mental health support from Oxfordshire Mind. Text: 07451 277973 Call: 01865 247788 Email: info@oxfordshiremind.org.uk
  • Visit the Go Active website to find a range of physical activity opportunities from right across the county. Areas can be selected from the map or people can click ‘Get Started’ to see what is happening near them.


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