Physical Activity for ALL Abilities – A Partnership with CMHA – Middlesex
Did you know that 1 in 4 individuals will personally experience mental illness in their lives? With these odds, it’s likely that you yourself has struggled with a mental health barrier, or know someone who has. Did you also know that exercise not only improves our physical health but our mental health as well! – Yes.. Sort of like a brain gym. Exercise improves mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, negative mood and by improving self-esteem and cognitive function. Exercise has also been found to alleviate symptoms such as social anxiety and stress.
It may seem easy for us to list all the benefits of exercise but when you are living with a mental illness, sometimes you need that extra support to guide you in the right direction while providing positive encouragement. But where do I find the support needed to do this you may ask…
The Canadian Mental Health Association Middlesex is a local mental health agency in the London community, which also offers services in Strathroy, Exeter and Godrich. CMHA continues to provide community-based mental health services offering support with; housing, employment & education, daytime activities, clinical services and case management.
The Canadian Mental Health Association Middlesex (CMHA) had exposure to Femme Force Fitness during a “Girls Creating Change Group” affiliated with Youth Opportunities and The Sexual Assault Centre in summer 2014. The “Girls Creating Change Group” is an 8-week discussion group for young women aged 16-30 to discuss women’s issues and empower participants to take action in their communities. The group provides a safe space for young women to engage in meaningful dialogue about important topics that impact their everyday lives.
“When we first entered Femme Force, we were blown away by the welcoming energy and passion from owner, Emma Mae. At CMHA we really believe that EVERYONE has the right to be an active EQUAL member of their community. It was clear during our visit that Emma has these strong beliefs as well and that together we could work towards a common goal to help women find confidence, self love, and strength through physical activity.”
– Michelle Phillips, Mental Health Worker – CMHA
Going forward we are hoping to break down the barriers that an individual living with a mental illness may face. Some of these barriers including; social anxiety, low motivation, low self-esteem, limited income etc. The goal is help these individuals find healthy ways to cope through their recovery and provide opportunities to engage in physical activity to help someone reach their potential both physically and mentally. We look forward to this new partnership and are excited for the opportunities to come!
For more information about the Canadian Mental Health Association, please visit www.cmhamiddlesex.ca or contact (519) 668-0624.