Reflecting on Mental Health Awareness Week May 2024

An image of two Forestry England signs for Mental Health Awareness Week 2024.
Mental Health

Reflecting on Mental Health Awareness Week May 2024

As Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW) 2024 comes to a close, we take a moment to reflect on the impactful theme of this year: “Movement: Moving more for our mental health.” The Mental Health Foundation has brought to light the critical connection between physical activity and mental well-being, encouraging us to find joy and solace in movement – I’m totally signed up.

The body and the Mind are intrinsically linked – I mean, we know it and we’ve felt it, right?

This year Mental Health Awareness Week is highlighting movement as a way of proactively managing our mental health and as prevention, treatment and promotion of mental wellness.

The Power of Movement

The link between physical activity and mental health is well-documented. Engaging in regular movement can trigger chemical changes in the brain that improve mood and reduce anxiety1. This week, we’ve been encouraged to discover our own #MomentsForMovement—be it through yoga, a brisk walk, or even dancing to our favourite song.

The language ‘movement’ is specific in order to open the box a little. No visuals of ‘stacked’ individuals in the gym – this is for all of us – starting from whatever stage we are at – to try and be more conscious about moving for the promotion of our wellbeing.

Let’s lean into the science:
“89% of all published peer-reviewed research between 1990 and 2022 found a positive, statistically significant relationship between exercise/physical activity and mental health”. (

Scientific evidence shows that our thinking patterns and behaviours affect our physical systems which in turn affect our mental health.

It’s a battle though isn’t it?

If we are feeling depressed, movement can feel like the last thing we want to do, with huge mental barriers to overcome just to be able to access it. It’s not just about the movement but about the social aspects of movement – is there anyone you can ask to walk this with you?

Stories of Change

Personal stories have always been at the heart of MHAW. This year, we heard from Jared, who found peace in long-distance running, and India, who built a supportive network through a local fitness group. Their stories, among many others, serve as a testament to the power of movement in supporting our mental health.

Looking Ahead

As we move beyond MHAW, let’s continue to embrace movement in our daily lives. Whether it’s taking a short walk during lunch breaks or joining a local sports club, every step we take is a step towards better mental health.

Remember, your journey to mental well-being doesn’t have to be a solo one. Share your experiences and join the conversation using the hashtags #MomentsForMovement and #NoMindLeftBehind and connect with me through