• Largest ever study of its kind confirms physical activity’s benefits to mental wellbeing.

    Our mental health charity Mind has revealed the findings of a landmark two-year study which shows that people with mental health problems who are more regularly active have better mental wellbeing.

    The Get Set to Go programme, the largest of its kind anywhere in the world, was launched with support of Sport England and the National Lottery in July 2015 to help people with mental health problems benefit from being physically active. The programme has since supported 3,585 people with mental health problems get more active. After 6 months of taking part in Get Set to Go, 78% of people rated it as very good or excellent.

    Participants in Get Set to Go increased their activity levels by an average of 1.3 days each week, and felt like they had more support available to them after taking part in the programme. They also felt it had improved their resilience and ability to cope. The research, which was independently evaluated by experts from Loughborough University, worked with 1,000 participants to track their progress.

    Participants took part in specially designed physical activity projects. Delivered in communities across England by eight local Minds, participants received group and one-to-one support from peers with an understanding of how mental health can be a barrier to physical activity. Participants took part in a range of activities including gym, football, badminton, boxing, walking, Boccia and even ultimate Frisbee. Participants also got support through Mind’s safe and supportive online social network Elefriends, by swapping tips, advice and linking up with others who were just starting out.

    Nationally, Get Set to Go campaigned to promote the benefits of getting active on mental health, reaching over 19 million people with specially developed information. Thousands more accessed information and support to help them get active online through Mind’s Elefriends website.

    Mind is calling on organisations working in sports and physical activity to take on the learnings from Get Set to Go and embed the programme’s recommendations in their work to support participants with mental health problems.
    All recommendations can be found at

    We also wanted to share the short film starring some of our participants, volunteers and Sports Coordinator which was screened at our celebration event in the Olympic Park, London. You can now find this on our YouTube channel here.

    Sujan, who joined the Wolverhampton-based Jolly Joggers as part of Get Set to Go, said: “I was very nervous at first because I suffer from panic attacks and anxiety attacks, so the idea of going to a new group was a bit scary. It was hard at first to get the motivation to go but once you’re there its brilliant because everyone is in the same boat as
    you. When I don’t go jogging I feel quite down and lethargic, so it’s become an important part of my routine now that I go for a jog at least once a week. Jolly Joggers is great because it motivates you to keep going jogging, even in winter. It’s helped with my panic and anxiety attacks and I feel much better and more confident in myself. I can go jogging on my own now, which I never used to do before. I’ve made new friends which I keep in touch with and we go jogging together.”

    Sports Minister Tracey Crouch said: "Sport can have such a positive impact on a person's mental health and help change lives for the better. I want to see more sports bodies work closely with mental health organisations and 'Get Set to Go' is an excellent example of this. I hope that the programme continues to go from strength to strength, increasing mental health awareness across the sport sector."

    Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, said: “We know that physical activity can play a vital role in the lives of people with mental health problems, reducing the risk of depression by up to 30%. Unfortunately we also know that many people who do want to participate in sport are being held back by their mental health, whether that’s feelings of low self-confidence, exhaustion or fear of crowded spaces. The findings of the Get Set to Go programme shows us that it works as a model, improving participants’ resilience and building their support networks. We hope that organisations working in sport and physical health take up the recommendations from Get Set to Go and we look forward to working closely with them to reach our shared aim of helping more people with mental health problems become and remain physically active.”

    Jennie Price, Chief Executive of Sport England, said: “This project has really brought to life how physical activity can help people with mental health problems improve their sense of wellbeing, and how in practical terms they can be supported to be more active. I am very proud of what Sport England’s partnership with Mind is achieving, and we want to do more work in this area in future.”

    Andrew Cowan, Sports Coordinator of Tyneside and Northumberland Mind, said: “As the Sports Coordinator responsible for the launch and management of Get Set to Go in Tyneside, I am extremely proud of what we have achieved in such a short space of time. I have been at the grassroots delivery of this project since the start and have seen the truly life changing impact it has had on the participants who engaged.

    We have greatly reduced the stigma around talking about mental health, delivered a range of activities that continue to have long term physical benefits and educated local sports providers on how they can improve their offer to participants with our bespoke Mental Health and Physical Activity Training course.
    I now hope the legacy of Get Set to Go will continue to grow across the country!”

    What next?

    We are committed to building on the learning from Get Set to Go to help more people with mental health problems benefit from being physically active.
    The evaluation report contains recommendations (towards the end) for any organisation wanting to support this cause and we are also in the process of trying to find sustainability funding to continue our great work.

    You can continue to contact us regarding mentoring advice or to book our Mental Health and Physical Activity training course at

  • Virgin Money Giving Mind Media Award

    Anne-Marie Ianzito, Coordinator of Blue Light at Tyneside and Northumberland Mind, attended the Virgin Money Giving Mind Media Awards 2017 event in London as representing Tyneside and Northumberland Mind's workplace wellbeing work:

    "This was a very exciting evening in which radio, entertainment, journalism/student journalism, drama, publications, news/current affairs, soaps, films, digital champions, and documentaries were celebrated in terms of their accurate, sensitive, and anti-stigmatising portrayal of mental health in the media. The event also celebrated inspiring people with lived experience, such as Bryony Gordon (author of Mad World) who challenge the status quo and bring their own mental health struggles out into the open. Highlights of the evening were listening to Paul Farmer, Mind CEO, Stephen Fry and Fearne Cotton, Mind Ambassadors, and Prince Harry who has recently has influenced millions with sharing of his own mental health struggles in the Heads Together campaign."

    Prince Harry presented the Speaking Out Award at the event celebrating the very best reporting and portrayals of mental health in the media. To know more about the award winners, click HERE.

  • The Great North Run 2017
    The Great North Swim 2017

    We have been lucky enough to buy more places in the Great North Run and the Great North Swim this year giving us a much bigger team than in previous years. If you want to secure your place, please download and complete the forms below for the event of your choice and return it by Friday 1st December.

    If you participate to these events, we will provide you with:

    • A fundraising and training pack.
    • A running vest/t-shirt and iron on name letters.
    • A personal online sponsorship page with which can be e-mailed to colleagues, friends and family.
    • Fundraising support from Tyneside and Northumberland Mind community fundraising team.
    • Publicity, support and advice from Tyneside and Northumberland Mind.
    • Cheers from all the Tyneside and Northumberland Mind supporters along the way!

    I want to participate to the Great North Run

    The Great North Run is the country’s largest half marathon and this is your opportunity to take part in it and support the UK’s leading mental health charity. It will take place on 9th September 2018.

    We’ve got 25 places for this amazing event. If you want to secure a place for the Great North Run, please download this application form:
    Great North Run application form

    I want to participate to the Great North Swim

    The Great North Swim will take place on 8-10 June 2018 at Brockhole on Windermere for a fantastic weekend of open water swimming in the stunning Lake District.

    We’ve got 5 places for the 1 mile distance. If you want to secure a place for the Great North Swim, please download this application form:
    Great North Swim application form

    If you have any questions about these events, please feel free to contact us:

  • Paul Heeley

    Paul Heeley, Headteacher at Amble Links First School, has kindly accepted to share with you his view on the Northumberland Supporting Families Project:

    “I am writing in praise of the support that has been provided to families at my school by Tyneside and Northumberland Mind. At a point where, as a school, we were a little lost as to what further help we could offer families requiring support through Early Help Services having been stepped down from Children's Services Involvement, Tyneside and Northumberland Mind was recommended as an option.

    Following a very simple referral, we were put in touch with a worker who quickly took on cases, built strong relationships with parents and children and was able to make regular visits to homes in order to support families in areas where it was most needed. Targeting the areas of family life that were often the root cause of issues presented in school proved beneficial in supporting improvements for the children in question through improved attendance, better liaison between home and school and signposting to other available services where necessary. The detailed assessment made by the worker proved valuable in supporting future referrals to other services.

    Parents who have worked with Tyneside and Northumberland Mind have been seen to improve their engagement levels with school and have been more confident to discuss home issues that are affecting their children in school, allowing for more relevant interventions to be put in place.

    This service has been invaluable to us in providing an insight into home life that a school does not readily have access to as well as whole family support service that deals with the impact of mental health issues on all involved.”

    We need you to maintain the Northumberland Supporting Families Project in 2018. You can help us to win a fund by voting on the Aviva Community Fund website:

    Vote now


    If you need any help to vote for us, please download this quick guide (link to our project included):
    4 steps guide to vote on Aviva Community Fund website

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Tyneside and Northumberland Mind, Wellbeing Centre, Dunsmuir Grove, Bensham, Gateshead NE8 4QL. Telephone: 0191 477 4545  Email: 
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Registered office: Tyneside Mind, Wellbeing Centre, Dunsmuir Grove, Bensham, Gatheshead NE8 4QL. Company Number: 7552434. Charity Number: 1140856.