VULNERABLE adults in the borough are benefiting from a healthier lifestyle.
For the past year, health trainers have been working with Mental Health Concern’s Moving Forward South Tyneside project, based in Derby Terrace, South Shields.
The service supports people with acute and enduring mental health problems, providing healthy living courses, education, social activities and training for employment opportunities.
Health trainers John Young and Caroline Bainbridge have been an essential part of efforts to promote healthier lifestyle choices, as part of the link between good physical and good mental health.
The service already offers walking, cycling and light chair exercise sessions, with the health trainers offering help, information, advice and guidance on a range of issues at weekly drop-ins.
Service manager Jayne Guppy said: “As a result of this, both staff and service users have been supported to make positive lifestyle changes including diet, weight management, starting an exercise session, monitoring blood pressure and stopping smoking.
“The drop-in session is especially important as it makes it easier and more accessible for people who may not feel comfortable, motivated or confident enough to seek this help independently, but who are now benefiting from the service provided by NHS South of Tyne and Wear and South Tyneside Council.
“During the time the health trainers have been working in partnership with us, we have seen some really great results in people’s physical and mental wellbeing.”
Sheila Murphy, from South Shields, has changed her diet for the better and started gentle exercise with the support of the health trainers.
She said: “I had a stroke a couple of years ago and I can’t eat vegetables because they make me really feel sick and I used to have a savoury tooth.
“But now I have got a sweet tooth. I used to eat big portions, but the health trainers have helped me cut down through reducing my portion sizes.
“I try to do exercise, but it is quite hard.
“The light chair sessions are a good alternative for me.”