Since the release of the Autumn Budget and the House of Lords Sport and Recreation Committee Report, there have been increasing calls from the sector to fully realise its potential. The joint report from the Sport for Development Coalition and Mind aims to strengthen social prescribing links between health professionals and the fitness sector.
The report recommends initiating a new cross-Government strategy to strengthen the use of physical activity, especially in lieu of the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The ‘Moving for Mental Health’ report establishes leadership in this area to come from the Office of Health Improvement and Disparities.
Having been produced following the onset of the pandemic, the report includes better training for health professionals. Setting out clear evidence for the importance of developing healthy relationships with physical activity, extra training aims to empower the health sector with the information they need to make better use of the sector. Statistics show that with programmatic interventions and community interaction, physical activity can vastly improve a person’s mental health and wellbeing.
It goes on to conclude that single sector responses in addition to those revealing serious levels of inequality have exposed weaknesses in treating mental health problems. Moving for Mental Health was therefore produced for the express purpose of informing government policy pertaining to the benefits of community-based physical activity and social prescribing.
Launched at an online meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Sport, it has been designed to support and inspire public bodies, funders, commissioners, and policy-makers as well as community-based programme providers aiming to enhance the impact of movement for mental health.
To find out more about the Moving for Mental Health Report, see here.