Mental Health Action Week – Reflecting on MIAD’s April Million Steps Challenge
This week has been Mental Health Awareness Week, and the purpose of this has been to spotlight how we are all likely to struggle with our mental health at some point in our lives. With 1 in 6 people reporting experiencing common mental health problems (like anxiety and depression) in any given week in England, bringing awareness to the issue seems critical. The question is, although awareness is a vital first step, what’s next? If there is anything we’ve become acutely aware of in the last two years, it is the collective state of our mental health. Now is the time for action. For this week, we wanted to reflect on what action we took to work on our mental health.
One of the luxuries of the pandemic was being able to go outside for a walk, a luxury that helped both our mental and physical health. In 2020 the miles walked per person increased to numbers not seen since 2002. So why is it now that when we are starting to return to pre-pandemic levels of freedom, our need to go outside has decreased? A survey found that 32% of people say they have less time for a walk now than they did during the lockdown. Its clear walking was one of the contributing factors to improving our mental health, so bringing it back into our routine was necessary.
We wanted to take action and do something to decrease stress, encourage better mental health, and create community, and that’s why last month, we ran our ‘April Million Steps Challenge’ to raise money for Rethink Mental Illness. Rethink Mental Illness is an organisation that stands for equality, rights, fair treatment, and maximum quality of life for all those affected by mental illness, their carers, family, and friends.
We encouraged our community to get outside, record their steps, take pictures of where they ended up, and set ourselves the goal of raising £2000. We’re delighted to say we reached that goal, which will be instrumental in helping people severely affected by mental illness to realise a better life for themselves. Awareness is one of the first steps you can take on your journey to better mental health, and taking action is the next step in the journey.
We hope you remember to get outside and take a break when you need it, and we’re also incredibly proud of everyone who participated!