Mental Health Awareness Week 2024

As run by the Mental Health Foundation, this year’s theme is ‘movement: moving more for our mental health’.

13th May 2024 about a 2 minute read


13th May 2024

Mental Health Awareness Week is an annual event where there is an opportunity to focus on supporting good mental health. The event has become one of the biggest awareness weeks across the UK and globally now in its 23rd year. Each year, the Mental Health Foundation continues to set the theme and this year’s theme is ‘movement: moving more for our mental health’.

Exercise has been proven to reduce anxiety and depression, and it can help us to prevent physical illnesses. Sadly, people living with mental illness die on average 20 years younger than the general population, often from avoidable physical illness. This group is more likely to develop preventable conditions like diabetes, heart disease, bowel cancer and
breast cancer.

Research has shown that regular physical activity can make us happier and healthier. Our bodies release feel-good hormones when we’re active, which can reduce anxiety and stress and help us sleep better.​ By building movement into our working day, we can have a positive impact on productivity and focus. Mental Health Foundation research showed that 82% of people believe that regular physical activity is important for mental health and wellbeing. However, over a third of UK adults do not meet the recommendations set out by the World Health Organisation (WHO).Mental Health UK research shows that 56% of people found that exercising regularly helped them to alleviate stress and prevent burnout in their lives.

Despite the evidence that keeping physically active can promote good mental health, we know there are barriers preventing us doing so, like accessibility, time, money, body image, lack of open space, or the negative connotations we might commonly associated with ‘exercise’ itself.

Movement doesn’t need to look like going to the gym, running a marathon or taking part in a team sport – and it doesn’t need to cost the earth. It can be as simple as stepping off the bus a stop early, moving a 1-2-1 meeting to a walking call, giving your child a push on a park swing after school, or dancing in your kitchen while you cook dinner.

Every year for the week, free resources are developed to help people participate in the week devoted to mental health. These include posters, logos, social media graphics, top tips, stats, events, group activities, fundraising packs and more.