For people suffering from mental health problems, going outdoors can be a difficult challenge to overcome – facing the wider world often proves to be a daunting prospect which increases feelings of anxiety. Without a support network to provide an opportunity to get out and about and meet new people, those with mental health issues may find themselves lacking in motivation and consequently feel isolated and alone.
Enjoying Derby is an initiative by Derbyshire Mind which offers guided walks to people with mental health problems, giving them the opportunity to enjoy both the physical and mental health benefits of a good walk. A Local Mind Association affiliated with National Mind, Enjoying Derby is one of several independent groups from around the UK. Meeting outside the Assembly Rooms on the Market Place every Tuesday and Thursday at 1pm, the group enjoys walks of various lengths ranging from less than a mile to up to 3 miles, both in and around the city centre and with occasional day trips taking them further afield.
The Citizens’ Eye Derby team met with the project co-ordinator Caron Kirkham to discuss the wider benefits of the initiative, as well as joining the group on a short walk through Derby city centre. A beautiful sunny day, we discovered first hand just how enjoyable the walks are to the members of the group, who not only experience all the health benefits of a good walk but also the opportunity to socialise and make new friends. The walk took us inside Pickford’s House Museum to enjoy a slice of Derby’s Georgian heritage, where we interviewed some of the walkers in the peaceful adjacent gardens.
For more information on the scheme, visit the Derbyshire Mind website at www.derbyshiremind.org.uk to find out where and when the next walk is taking place, or contact Caron directly on 01332 345966 Ext: 4.