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Health Secretary and West Suffolk MP gets involved in RED January

The Health Secretary and MP for West Suffolk, Matt Hancock has taken part in a HIIT Class today as part of the RED January campaign for mental health charity, Suffolk Mind.

Mr Hancock is taking part in RED January himself, doing something every day to beat the blues away. Today’s activity took place at Brandon Leisure Centre, alongside Suffolk Mind Chief Executive, Jon Neal and Warren Smyth the Chief Executive of Abbeycroft Leisure.

Talking to Jon on a video for his YouTube channel, Mr Hancock said: “It (RED January) is fantastic for you, I feel so much better and it’s good for your mental health as well. The whole point of it tying together your physical and mental wellbeing, is so important”.

Suffolk Mind is partnering with RED January, a national initiative, promoting the positive power exercise can have on our minds and wellbeing, during a characteristically tough month. It’s founded on research that shows physical activity can reduce symptoms of mental illness such as depression and anxiety. In the post RED January 2018 survey, 87% of people who took part reported feeling significantly better physically and mentally, after getting active every day. 337 people have signed up to RED January for Suffolk Mind.

In Suffolk, and across the UK, figures show one in four people will experience a mental health challenge each year. In England, one in six people report experiencing a common mental health issue, such as anxiety or depression, in any given week.

Jon Neal, chief executive of Suffolk Mind said: “I am so pleased many people are involved in RED January for Suffolk Mind this year. Having the Health Secretary and organisations like Abbeycroft Leisure supporting our campaign is fantastic”.

During his RED January campaign, Jon has also been out running with Ipswich MP, Sandy Martin and has taken part in an exercise session with the Cambridge University rowing team, who are training for the big boat race against Oxford in April. 

Chief Coach of Cambridge University Boat Club, Rob Baker who was talking to Jon on a video for his YouTube channel said: “We’re slightly contained in our bubble here, and what we do with the boat club, but like everyone we’ve got top preforming athletes who have struggles and have some issues we have to deal with. But across the university its something they are looking at very closely and absolutely encouraging people to do sport and take part in exercise to help in that process. Even as a coach, who doesn’t do as much exercise as I’d like, when I do it’s a huge release and a helpful process”.

Author: Kristina Brinkley
Posted on: 18th January 2019

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