Movement and Mental Health and Wellbeing
Physical activity is not only good for your body, but it's also great for your mind. Being active releases chemicals in your brain that make you feel good - boosting your self-esteem and helping you concentrate as well as sleep well and feel better.
Young people's mental health and wellbeing has never been so important. One in six children aged 5 - 16 were identified as having a mental health problem in July 2021 - an increase from one in nine in 2017. That's five children in every classroom. (NHS Digital 2021 - Mental health of CYP in England)
83% of young people with mental health needs agreed that the coronavirus pandemic had made their mental health worse. (YoungMinds 2020)
We have been working with the charity Stormbreak in a number of schools across Bedford and Central Beds looking at how movement can help improve children's mental heath.
The project has been jointly funded by Be Active, the schools and The Harpur Trust in Bedford and Public Health in Central Beds.
Stormbreak aims to improve children's mental health through movement, equipping them with sustainable, transferable skills and coping strategies to thrive during the complex demands of growth into adult life. Their aim is to embed mentally healthy movement for every child, every day into the life of every primary school.
Core beliefs of Stormbreak
- Children are happier when they move more
- Movement improves children's wellbeing and teaches them essential emotional and physical life skills
- Schools can be wonderful environments for movement for mental health
- Teachers can be the hero in their pupils' lives
- Everyone has a part to play in sharing the responsibility for improving children's current and future mental health
- The core values, attitudes, beliefs and culture of the school matter
- Lasting change happens within a whole school approach