Taking five for mental wellbeing

ACUMEN mental health development worker Sarah McFadzean.

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People across Mid Argyll and Islay have had their mental health boosted thanks to the innovative ‘Take 5 Challenge’.

Mental health network ACUMEN organised the challenge throughout March in partnership with Mid Argyll charities.

Take 5 Challenge is about encouraging people to boost their mental and emotional wellbeing by introducing fresh air and movement into their daily routine for a month.

During this time the topic of mental health is brought into the conversation and people are encouraged to support one another in their challenges by way of a dedicated Facebook group.

The group allows participants to share photos of their activities and generate a feeling of being involved in a group event.

Where possible people have been able to meet in twos and as restrictions change it is hoped opportunities for groups to Take 5 together will increase as the initiative moves to the Oban, Lorn and the Isles area for June.

Argyll and the Isles Coast and Countryside Trust (ACT) at Blarbuie Woodland supported the Take 5 Challenge by including a different weekly forest trail to follow, with prizes.

A selection of video clips were made by local health and fitness coaches to provide inspiration and different ideas to use as Take 5.

The challenge was flexible and could be adapted to suit the individual -and the weather if need be.

Lochgilphead’s Dochas Carer Centre used the Take 5 Challenge to raise funds for its ‘Circle of Friends’ befriending service.

Staff members walked every day in March and raised £1,665 through the sponsorship. They would like to thank everyone who has donated and special thanks went to Hendrix Genetics for its generous donation.

ACUMEN mental health development worker Sarah McFadzean said: ‘Being involved and enjoying the challenge is as important as the activities themselves.

‘I would like to thank everyone who supported and got involved in Take 5 for their enthusiasm and assistance.

‘We are in the process of developing a Mental Health Forum and Lived Experience Group in the Mid Argyll, Kintyre and the Isles, the purpose of which will be to gather thoughts on current service provision, listen to others’ experiences and inform future planning, along with providing information from a range of services and peer support.’

For more information contact sarah.mcfadzean@acumennetwork.