During December the Healthy Eastbourne Board, in partnership with the local NHS and
Heading for Fitness is aimed at improving awareness of the needs of people with mental health problems.
Barbara Hardcastle, health promotion specialist for mental wellbeing at East Sussex Downs and Weald Primary Care Trust (PCT) said, "One in four people will experience a mental health problem at some point in their lives.
"As well as promoting general health, taking part in exercise can help to alleviate some of the symptoms of mental illness.
"Unfortunately, many of the people who have these difficulties feel anxious about joining local clubs and groups because they are unsure of how supportive staff will be.
"In Heading for Fitness we are helping to incr
ease understanding of mental well-being, tackle the stigma attached to mental illness and give local fitness instructors and sports clubs the confidence to welcome everyone to their groups."
Some people with mental health problems will soon be eligible for direct payments which they could use to purchase the services of exercise providers.
It is important that Sports Clubs and Fitness Instructors have been trained to offer the appropriate support.
The training is funded by the Care Services Improvement Partnership and is free.
Delivered by mental health workers, the workshops will give practical advice and guidance on how to develop a supportive exercise environment.
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