Enable Leisure and Culture, in partnership with Wandsworth Council are helping raise awareness of World Mental Health Day on October 10, by celebrating the many health and wellbeing activities and programmes that have been taking place in borough.

Over the past three years the Active Wellbeing programme has been running in the borough working with adults with severe mental health conditions. The bespoke, one-to-one physical activity programme is set up to engage adults who suffer with severe and enduring mental conditions including psychosis, schizophrenia, and bi-polar disorder.

Through the programme, participants are provided with tailored one-to-one exercise support, funded by Wandsworth’s Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and delivered by Enable Leisure and Sport, in partnership with Brent, Westminster and Wandsworth Mind.

It has been identified that people with severe mental health conditions have a 20 year lower life expectancy than the general population, largely attributed to cardiovascular conditions. Active Wellbeing aims to get participants physically active to reduce their risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Participants work with the same Exercise Instructor for over 10 weeks with a programme tailored to each individual, this includes the time of day, venue/location, type of exercise and intensity.

As the exercise activity can happen anywhere in the borough, many prefer to exercise outside in one of Wandsworth’s many parks and open spaces. To date, 172 participants have taken part in the programme, 33 per cent being categorised as having ‘Low’ activity levels at the start of the programme, dropping to 12 per cent by the end of 10 weeks, and just 18 per cent by 6 months.

Those who took part, worked on increasing their activity, improving their confidence, boosting their self-esteem, and engaging with other forms of health and wellbeing, supporting residents to address other unhealthy behaviours. Participants frequently report feeling healthier overall, including sleeping better and improved mood and motivation to try other new things.

An Active Wellbeing participant said: "I had been suffering from depression and anxiety for many years. After just 10 sessions of personal training with Annamaria I have felt a much increased self-confidence and reduced feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. My mood has improved tremendously, and I can finally concentrate on my studies without getting distracted by my own thoughts.

"My sleep is better quality and more regular than ever before. I wish I had put my mind at ease through tailored training with Annamaria long ago. She was able to adapt to my mood and understand what level of exercise I wished to do in each separate session."

Enable Leisure and Culture and Wandsworth Council will be celebrating World Mental Health Day on Wednesday, October 10, 4:00 - 6:00 pm at Wandsworth Town Hall. They will be showcasing the work that we do with our Active Wellbeing programme, and celebrating the successes of some of our clients over the past 3 years.