According to the recent project research findings, the connection between physical exercise, sports and mental health differs from country to country. Importance of physical exercise for personal mental health can therefore be observed through current status (based upon most important policy documents) in each country. As Slovenia was one of the countries, included in the research it is important to mention the existing national strategies and public/media supported positive information about how sport can contribute to mental health problems.
The country has its own strategic document named Resolution on national programme of diet and physical activity for health 2015 – 2025, prepared by the Ministry of health (more about it at: mz.gov.si). The resolution emphasizes the importance of an early start into the world of physical activation and sports as well as defining the key to physical, mental and social strengths – being physically active from childhood to late age. The longevity of society, active ageing and retaining the creational energy is strongly connected to the latter. Some articles can be as well found on that topic, spreading the importance. National instate for public health has also prepared a brochure where such positive effects are established and is informing about possible and practical exercise to be done everyday (more about it: nijz.si).
The most interesting information is, that in December 2017 the Government of republic of Slovenia confirmed the proposal of long awaited and first strategic document – the Resolution on national programme of mental health 2018 – 2028 that includes promotion of mental health, preventive activities in destigmatisation of mental health problems within different target groups (more about it here: e-uprava.gov.si).
The start of M.E.N.S. promotion campaign and future policy paper there fore go hand in hand with current (national) situation.
The aspiration to widen up the possibilities for inclusion of persons with mental health problems in different social activities (sport as one of them) seems to be finding its way to being realized more concretely in the years to come – therefore it can be said “Life is like a bike. To keep your balance, you have to keep moving” … and finding new options for inclusion and combating prejudice.