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Published: 07 January 2016

Mind matters: exercise programme to boost student mental health

The Annual Fund is funding an exercise therapy scheme for students with anxiety and depression, thanks to the support of our generous donors.

One in four people experience a mental health problem every year, according to Mind, with mixed anxiety and depression being the most common problem in Britain.

The University is a strong advocate for reducing the stigma around mental health and is a signatory of the Time to Change Organisational Pledge, England's biggest programme to challenge discrimination.

To build on Surrey’s commitment to support students with mental health problems, the Annual Fund has provided a £10,000 grant for a new initiative to run an exercise referral scheme with Surrey Sports Park and the University’s Centre of Wellbeing.

The project will provide a structured 12-week programme of physical activity to 100 students identified as suffering with mild to moderate depression or anxiety.

Laura Smythson, Deputy Head of Wellbeing and Clinical Nurse Lead, said: “For those with mild anxiety or depression, exercise may be as effective as anti-depressants or psychological treatments. The scheme demonstrates the University’s support for students’ mental wellbeing and provides an additional avenue to help reduce the prevalence of mental health conditions among the student community.”

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