Mind in Greater Manchester are partnering with RED January to help motivate people to get active every day in January to help support their mental health.

The challenge focuses on physical activity as a way of helping your mental wellbeing to kick start the new year.

Strategic Lead for Mind in Greater Manchester, Stewart Lucas, explained: “[The campaign is] based on the premises that January can be a bit of a rubbish month and actually being active is one of the best things that you can do to make it better”.

“So there’s lots of really good evidence now showing that exercise is something that can keep you mentally well as well as physically. Scientifically it produces endorphins and other chemicals which actually make you happy”.

RED January is a community based project, that is laid back and self-run. The main idea behind the campaign is for people to be proactive and do as little or as much as they can.

Stewart added: “The idea is for people to do some form of activity during in January. Now that activity doesn’t need to be horrendously strenuous. It can basically be getting off the bus a stop earlier”.

“But whatever you do, try and do it every day in January because we believe if we can get as many people in Salford and Manchester to do it, then we will create a happier January”.

Despite being a relaxed initiative, Stewart explained there is also a way to fundraise and help your local Mind Charity: “We’ve formalised it in some ways where if you sign up through RED January’s website you get a pack. If you fundraise for us you’ll receive a T-shirt”.

“Through all of this there’s a huge support system from an online community that support each other”.

You can join the RED  January Facebook page to find out what events are going on in and around Salford. The page also gives you an opportunity to organise your own events and meet new people.

“The campaign provides an opportunity for people to go out and meet people doing things such as exercise” – Stewart Lucas

In 2017 it was reported that 5 per cent of adults in England felt lonely. With younger adults 16-24 years old feeling lonelier than any other age range. January can be an isolating month with the social buzz of Christmas ending. Events such as RED try to combat this.

Stewart elaborated: “We are living in a world where people are more isolated. Single households are out numbering dual households. People are living longer and are therefore living longer alone. So one this is one of the key things about this organisation and the fact we want to prevent this”.

To find out more and how to get your free fundraising pack check out the Mind website.

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