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Sporting legend Phil Vickery has given his backing to our campaign to encourage people to be more active to help improve their mental health and wellbeing.

Speaking at the start of Mental Health Awareness Week, which begins today (13 May), former England international, Wasps and Gloucester rugby star Phil said everyone should try and be more active to help improve both their physical and mental health.

He said: “I’m very supportive of what ²gether is doing to encourage everyone to be more active and take care of their mental health and wellbeing.

“As a sportsman I know how good keeping fit and being active makes you feel, not just physically but also mentally.

“But you don’t need to be a sporting professional to lead an active lifestyle; I think almost everyone can try and do something every day to be a bit more active. It’s really important for us all to look after our mental health, physical health and general wellbeing.”

The theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, which is organised by the Mental Health Foundation, is ‘physical activity’.

²gether NHS Foundation Trust is visiting Coleford, Stroud, Hereford, Gloucester and Cheltenham to spread the word about mental health and becoming more physically active.

Dr Jane Melton, ²gether’s Clinical Director for Social Inclusion, said: “Mental Health Awareness Week is an opportunity for us to get out and about to spread the word about mental health and wellbeing.

“Each year one in four of us will suffer a common mental health condition, such as depression or anxiety. It’s important to know that there is help available and there are also ways in which we can help ourselves, including by being more physically active.

“Not everyone will want to take up competitive sport or run a marathon, but by building a small amount of activity into our routine every day, perhaps by walking or gardening, we can all do a great deal to lift our mood prevent or overcome common mental health problems.

“We’re looking forward to meeting people during our week on the road, and we and Active Gloucestershire have got activities, giveaways and information to share. I’d encourage everyone to come along and see us.”

The roadshow will be out between 11am and 2pm as follows:

•  Monday 13 May – Coleford, Clock Tower
•  Tuesday 14 May – Stroud Subscription Rooms
•  Wednesday 15 May – Hereford, High Town
•  Thursday 16 May – Gloucester, King’s Square
•  Friday 17 May – Cheltenham, High Street

To read our guide to building more physical activity into your daily life, please click here