SOLIHULL Council has been given a cash boost to create a mental health programme inspired by the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The authority has been awarded £436,000 from the Sport England Commonwealth Active Communities fund to create a better link between sport, physical activity and mental health for residents.
Solihull Council say the programme will be developed by organisations across public, voluntary, community and health care sectors to create improved links between mental health, sport and physical activity services, using the inspiration created by next month’s Commonwealth Games.
The council is working with several organisations, specialising in mental health action and advice, including Living Well, Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, Colebridge Trust and Think Active.
Councillor Karen Grinsell, deputy leader of Solihull Council and lead member for Partnerships and Wellbeing, said:
“The pandemic has served to increase anxieties and potential mental health issues for many people.
“This programme aims to harness the amazing positivity and improvement that any physical activity or sport can bring to an individual’s mental health, using the inspiration of the Commonwealth Games.
“There is a direct link between exercise and improved mental health, and the programme will seek to build awareness and provide activities to suit all abilities and ages.
“Our key local groups will provide an important role in helping the council deliver this important and potentially life-changing initiative.”
This new programme will make a key contribution to the new ‘Solihull on the Move’ framework, a range of programmes to encourage residents to move more, more often.
The key local support groups involved in the programme, Think Active, Colebridge Trust, Living Well and Birmingham & Solihull Integrated Care System said: “The programme will target people who previously may not have considered getting involved in physical activities, or perhaps felt isolated and didn’t have the confidence to take part.
“We are reaching out specifically to residents of Solihull who have recently, or are currently experiencing, mental health challenges.”