FORMER Greater Bendigo Young Citizen of the Year and now prominent regional health advocate Doctor Skye Kinder has been made patron of Bendigo Health's major mental health promotion for 2021.
Building on the success of its 2020 event, Bendigo Health has launched Move for Mental Health for 2021, a virtual fitness and fundraising challenge for people of all abilities that lets participants set their exercise goals while raising money for local mental health services.
Dr Kinder, a passionate advocate for rural patients and their communities, said Move for Mental Health was a great opportunity to get active.
"Exercise has been proven to reduce feelings of stress, anxiety and depression, as well as improve sleep, cognitive function and help us to maintain a healthy weight," Dr Kinder said.
"Our bodies create endorphins when we exercise which helps to improve our mood.
"There is substantial evidence that confirms regular exercise can make a huge difference to the prevention of, and recovery from, severe mental illness.
"In 2021, we plan to grow the specialised exercise program that was introduced in our mental health departments last year, so more patients will benefit from this program when they receive treatment and when they are discharged from hospital."
The initiative aims to raise awareness of the power of movement and nature as protective strategies for mental wellbeing and to reduce the symptoms of mental illness in the community.
Participants in Move for Mental Health can walk, run or wheel their way to their own fitness and fundraising goals.
All money raised will go towards mental health services in the Loddon Mallee region and providing specialised exercise programs for mental health patients.
Registrations are now open, and residents can register as an individual, a family or rally their work colleagues or friends to create a team.
It costs $25 per person for individual or team participation and $50 for families.
There are a huge number of prizes available, including Rebel Sport and Brooks gift vouchers, and gym memberships.
Residents are encouraged to register, make sure to log exercise on World Mental Health Day on October 10.
To register, and for more information visit https://www.bendigohealthfoundation.org.au/event/move-4-mental-health/
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