Belfast Telegraph

Mater scheme to boost mental health

Working out and keeping active is helping psychiatric patients boost their mental health at Belfast Mater Hospital.

The innovative project is an extension of the 12 week Healthwise Scheme which normally runs in Belfast City Council leisure centres.

The Mater Hospital project offers weekly activity sessions both in the Mater and the nearby Everton centre for people using the Psychiatry service at the hospital.

Councillor Steven Corr, chairman of the Parks and Leisure committee said: “We are keen to create an Active Belfast as part of our key priorities for improving health in the city. Exercise has long been shown to benefit mental health, providing feel good endorphins, which lift spirits and help boost our physical health.

“Working with the Health Improvement Practitioner and the Multidisciplinary Team from Psychiatry at the Mater Hospital we are targeting those most in need of help and support in becoming active. Our partnership is benefiting people by providing an opportunity to be active in a setting in which they feel comfortable.”

Seamus Mullan, Head of Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement for the Public Health Agency in the Belfast area said they were delighted to support the extension of Healthwise to the Mater’s Psychiatric Unit.

“We aim to improve the health and wellbeing of those who are most vulnerable in our community.

“I congratulate Belfast Health and Social Care Trust on its progressive approach for offering Healthwise to patients as an innovative method to help improve their health and wellbeing.”

Healthwise, run in partnership by the council, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, and the Public Health Agency, which also provides the funding, offers activity programmes for people with conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure or depression.

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