Find your #MomentsForMovement during Mental Health Awareness Week (13-19 May)


Health and care organisations in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire are backing a national campaign to get people moving more for their mental health.

The #MomentsForMovement campaign, launched to mark Mental Health Awareness Week (13-19 May), highlights the ways that physical activity can improve mental wellbeing, reduce stress and anxiety and boost self-esteem.

Finding time for exercise can be tricky, but simple things like taking the stairs instead of the lift, going for a walk or doing some gardening can all provide mood-boosting benefits – and for the more adventurous there are hundreds of organised, community-based activities suitable for all ages and abilities.

Local GP and clinical lead for mental health at Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board Dr Natasha Ward, said: “Regular movement is one of the most important things we can do to protect our mental health and boost our wellbeing, so we’re delighted to back this campaign.

“We know that one of the biggest challenges people often face in getting active is finding the time and inspiration, so this week we’re promoting a range of ideas for accessible and enjoyable activities in our area.

“For example, thousands of people have used the NHS Couch to 5k app to develop a regular exercise habit. But if jogging’s not your thing there are dozens of walking groups and exercise classes for people of all ages and abilities.

“There is also our pioneering green social prescribing programme which helps people connect with our beautiful local green and blue spaces, through activities ranging from open water swimming to gardening and cycling.”

Ideas to help you find your #MomentsForMovement

NHS Better Health: This free online resource from the NHS has a range of materials to help you boost your mood through physical activity popular, ranging from the couch to 5K running app, to 10-minute home workout videos. Find out more at

Walking Festivals: Walking is a low-impact exercise that delivers a host of health and wellbeing benefits. It’s free, easy to take up at all ages and if done as a part of an organised group, highly sociable too. Better still, throughout National Walking Month in May, there’s a packed programme of free activities near you – see Bristol Walk Fest and North Somerset Walk Fest for more information.

Active Partnership – your local Active Partnership Wesport can provide guidance to accessing local community physical activities to improve your mental wellbeing.

Green Social Prescribing is a pioneering programme that helps people connect with nature and physical activity for better physical and mental health. The NHS-backed scheme has already helped thousands of people in our area to become more active and there are dozens of groups and activities to choose from. See the local NHS website and Green Social Prescribing Directory for more information.

Health and care partners in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire recently published a new, all-age mental health and wellbeing strategy for the local area. The strategy sets out local ambitions across holistic care, prevention and early help, quality treatment and more, delivered through a partnership approach to improving mental health and wellbeing. Find out more about the strategy on the Healthier Together website.