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Running Matters

Posted on the 6th February 2017

People who are suffering with common mental health problems are being encouraged to seek support to improve their mental health through combining education with physical activity to improve mental wellbeing.

The Mental Health Organisation estimates that 4-10% of people in England will experience depression in their lifetime. It has also been well documented that physical activity can be just as effective as medication for depression. In recognition of this Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust’s Preston Mindsmatter team is encouraging people suffering with depression to get in touch.

The Running Matters programme is a 6 week course held every Friday at Ashton Health Centre in Preston with a run through Ashton Park. The next programme begins on the 3 March 2017 and is accessible to those suffering with mild to moderate depression. The course is based on cognitive behaviour therapy and aims to help individuals understand more about depressive symptoms and encourage them to challenge these through physical activity. Combining education and physical activity, the course aims to assist people to combat their depressive symptoms and set new goals, which they may have not been able to achieve or sustain before.

Phil Gooden, Mindsmatter service manager at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust said:

“We understand that many people are reluctant to seek the help and advice they need when it comes to mental health. We want to change that by helping people understand the nature of depression, the associated symptoms and be able to challenge this through exercise.  

“We know that exercise raises self-esteem and boosts levels of 'feel good' hormones and is extremely effective in improving the symptoms of depression. We are looking for as many people as possible to come along to this exciting new group to improve how they are feeling.”

Lots of people in Preston have already passed through the Running Matters programme and are still using the skills they learnt today. Testimonials from the recent group included:

” I have never ran before and can’t believe how good I feel after just a short run with the group.” Male 19

“I have learnt I am not alone in the way I feel and that even though we all have our own different lives, we can often feel the same.” Female, 23

People can access the service via the online referral form at, they can also contact the team by post, telephone or by visiting their GP. For more information please contact the Mindsmatter team on 01772 773437.