Davis backing crucial new campaign this Mental Health Awareness Week

Comedian Tom Davis has issued a rousing rallying cry after joining forces with a trailblazing new campaign urging the British public to ‘get physical’ to help reduce anxiety this Mental Health Awareness Week.

New research has revealed that three quarters (75%) of adults surveyed report feeling anxious, but fewer than half (45%) are aware that physical activity is proven to reduce symptoms of anxiety.
Despite enjoying a fun-fuelled and ‘colourful’ career, Davis admits he has often had to battle internal demons and overcome feelings of anxiety in multiple walks of life.

And after taking up boxing to help combat those emotions, he is now urging the British public to emulate his more active exploits in a bid to reduce anxiety this Mental Health Awareness Week.

Davis, speaking during the week which takes place between May 15-22, said: “The conversation around mental health has definitely moved forward over the past few years, and people are more open about how they’re feeling.

“But there’s still work to be done, which is why campaigns like Every Mind Matters are so important.

“For me, this is about helping people to check in with themselves and recognise anxiety – but also educating people on how we can manage anxious feelings.

“Physical activity is proven to reduce anxiety so it’s about finding out what works for you and doing it regularly. It could be dancing around the kitchen, playing catch with the kids or even, hopscotch!

“Anxiety is no laughing matter; it can affect us all from time to time and it can be quite overwhelming and hold us back from doing things we love.

“I’ve had a colourful career, from working on building sites, to the shop floor, to being a comedian in front of thousands, and I’ve struggled with anxiety in every role.

“Mental health is close to my heart, and I want to open the conversation around it because I realise that everyone can struggle at times but there are simple things we can do to take care of our mental wellbeing and keep anxious feelings at bay.

“I’ve experienced anxiety for years; it can pop up any time, tap me on the shoulder and say ‘hello’ out of the blue.

“It has a huge impact, from stopping me sleeping and even make me shut myself away, so I spend less time with friends and family or turn down work opportunities.

“But just a few minutes of regular physical activity can make a huge difference to how we feel.

“It doesn’t matter what your fitness level is, whether it’s a walk in the park or hitting the gym, doing something is better than nothing and can really help to clear your head and keep those anxious jitters at bay.

“In fact. I took up boxing a few years ago and it’s worked wonders for me!

“For me, especially when I’m on tour, travelling all over the place and spending a lot of time on the road, I find boxing and just generally being active helps me to stay grounded when the rest of my routine has been thrown out of kilter.

“It’s also the sense of achievement and community that you get from sport that you love.

“A problem shared is a problem halved is what I always say, and it honestly couldn’t be more true. I feel lighter – and that’s not just because of the exercise!”

The New Every Mind Matters campaign is the latest action taken by government to improve people’s mental health, having already increased investment in mental health services by at least £2.3 billion a year by March 2024 so that an additional two million people can get the support they need.

Last year, the draft Mental Health Bill was published, intended to modernise the Mental Health Act so that it is fit for the 21st century and better supports people with serious mental illness.
And the government has committed to publishing a Major Conditions Strategy to tackle conditions that contribute most to morbidity and mortality across the population in England, including mental ill health.

Davis has joined forces with eminent medical experts Dr Ranj Singh and Dr Linda Papadopoulos in support of the Better Health – Every Mind Matters campaign, with a new film discussing how they deal with anxious thoughts and calling on the nation to make the first move for their mental health by getting active.

Davis, 44, added: “Mental Health Awareness Week is so important because it opens the dialogue around mental health and encourages people to recognise theirs and other’s symptoms.

“We all have mental health so let’s check in with ourselves and each other. The theme for this year is anxiety which is so common and can affect us all so that’s why it’s key to recognise the signs and build a toolbox that helps you manage your feelings.
“Ultimately, it’s about finding what works for you and making time for yourself. Good mental health is so important and makes such a difference.”

The Better Health – Every Mind Matters website also gives people the opportunity to sign up to anxiety-easing emails, offering expert advice to help them stay on top of their mental wellbeing and show them how to make these new steps part of their routine. 

Social media: #everymindmatters #moveforyourmentalhealth #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek #MHAW / @NH

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