MEH works with Community in Liverpool to support mental well being through sport and physical activity

Merseyside Expanding Horizons, a partner in the MENS project is working with local partners the Joseph Lappin Centre; Active Fitness; Sway with Ray; and Deaf Active to promote greater inclusion of people with mental health issues in activities delivered in and around The Joseph Lappin Centre.

The Joseph Lappin Centre and delivery partners within it have always tried to be inclusive in the services they provide however with support from MEH and the MENS project they have increased their efforts to not only make the existing sport and leisure services more inclusive more inclusive but also to think what new sports and leisure activities can be started at the centre which will support people with mental health issues getting involved and therefore more active. As Ray McNulty who facilitates “Sway with Ray” sessions says “I have suffered from depression myself in the past, so I know how important it is to support people to get out there and be active.”

The strategy to be more inclusive for people with mental health issues has 2 distinct but linked routes: These are:

  • To actively promote existing activities and services through public and voluntary sector organisation who specialise in providing services to people with mental health issues; this has including Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust; Crisis; Salvation Army; Options for Supported Living; and Imagine Mental Health. MEH and the Joseph Lappin Centre have met with these organisation and discussed how different ways in which we can work together to support their service users to take part in sport and exercise activities in the centre.
  • To develop new sport and exercise classes which are specifically aimed at supporting people with mental health issues to become active. Within this route way we have recently started Yoga Classes which has been shown to reduce stress and mental health issues in participants; and we are also developing running clubs and football sessions specifically aimed at individuals and teams of people with mental health issues. Both of these activities will be implemented in the New Year.

Kate McCormick Centre Manager at the Joseph Lappin Centre said “We want to be inclusive to all sectors and individuals in our community. We believe we can have a huge positive effect on the mental wellbeing of people in our community through making our activities and services as integrated and as inclusive as possible, and with the help of MEH and the MENS network, we will carry on making positive steps within this area.”

Fund Source  “Erasmus + Programme – Key Action Sport – Support to Collaborative Partnerships

Joe Hemington,