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Guest Post: Put on your trainers and help ‘Health in Mind’ promote positive mental health

When I first started my blog ‘Healthy Edinburgh, I knew that although physical fitness was going to feature quite strongly, I also believe that ‘health’ means so much more than just physical wellbeing.  That’s why the Healthy Edinburgh motto is ‘Sharing experiences that promote healthy minds, bodies and communities’.  This month’s guest blog focuses on a charity that addresses mental health in the community, Health in Mind.  Pippa Macnair (Corporate Fundraising Assistant) was kind enough to tell us a little bit about Health in Mind and the services they provide but she also needs your help!  Health in Mind has free places available for the Scottish Half-marathon in September.  This is a great way to set and achieve your personal fitness goals and help raise money for a local charity.  Here’s Pippa to tell us more…..

I would like to take the opportunity to draw attention to the local charity ‘Health in Mind’, which works to promote positive mental health and wellbeing both within Edinburgh and throughout the rest of Scotland.

Mental health is something which is often forgotten in discussions overwhelmed by updates on the latest ‘fitness craze’ or the ‘new way to fast’, but it is nevertheless a vital component of overall wellbeing. An estimated one in four will experience problems with their mental health over the course of their lifetime; a figure exacerbated by the stress and pressures of a modern lifestyle. These can prove severely debilitating, affecting sufferers in various aspects of their lives, from relationships with friends and family to ability to work. Problems surrounding stigma, misdiagnosis and funding shortages mean that only around a quarter of these people receive ongoing treatment, with even fewer accessing specialist care, so many continue to suffer in silence.

It is therefore critical that adequate support is there to help guide people through the recovery process- which is where we come in. By offering a wide range of services, from counselling and cognitive behavioural therapies, to trauma support and befriending, we have already transformed the lives of countless individuals both within Edinburgh and across the rest of Scotland. We aim to make our services accessible to everyone in need- if you feel you could benefit, please visit our website at www.health-in-mind.org.uk for more information.

We also offer a free information service, so if you have questions with regards any aspect of mental health or wellbeing, you can access support either through our infoline on 0131 243 0106; by email on information@health-in-mind.org.uk; or by making an appointment to come and see us at our dedicated Information Resource Centre on 40 Shandwick Place.

The importance of physical exercise in generating a positive mindset is evident, with regular activity proven to bring countless benefits, including decreased stress, improved sleep, and a sense of focus and motivation. As readers of the Healthy Edinburgh blog, you are no doubt already committed to health and exercise, but ever considered testing yourself further? We are currently seeking enthusiastic participants to take part in a range of ‘Challenge’ events over the forthcoming months, including the Scottish Half Marathon on the 19th September. This is a fantastic way to improve your fitness and have fun whilst making a real difference to the lives of many throughout Scotland who are currently suffering from the devastating impacts of poor mental health. Runners will be supported every step of the way, with a personal mentor and fundraising advice as well as dedicated ‘cheerers’ to motivate you on the day, and a stylish Health in Mind running vest or T-shirt. If you feel up to the challenge (or need a little more persuasion…) please contact us on events@health-in-mind.org.uk.

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