Understanding how to manage my own mental health issues, how to support my friends and family that suffer with mental health issues and also as an employer, how to mindfully and safely work with people that have mental health issues has become one of my key focuses for and is essential to our future.
We all know the massive positive effects that exercise and good nutrition can have on your mental health.
The past few years we have seen a huge increase in the awareness around mental health issues and just yesterday I was talking to a support worker from 'Andy's Man Club' who happens to be a member of Workout Bristol.
Andy's Man Club was formed by Luke Ambler after Luke's Brother-in-Law Andy Roberts committed suicide.
It's scary to think that if you are a male under the age of 45 (Which I am), you are more likely to die from suicide than any other cause ... now just take that in for a second! That is a pretty huge and worrying statistic.
From a personal perspective, in the last two years I have had to face some very difficult truths about my own anxiety issues as well as finding myself in a position of trying to figure out how to live and work with those around me that suffer with their own demons.
Mental health is a very real, vast and complicated disease ... it's a rabbit hole that is very difficult to navigate for people with the condition as well as for those that live or work around people that suffer with it.
The support worker that I spoke to yesterday said something very interesting ... that pretty much everyone has mental health issues to some degree and that self harm comes in many different forms whether it be the type of self harm that we all think of straight away or over eating, consumer too much alcohol, overworking , over training and so on.
As a gym owner I come into contact with hundreds of people every year whether they be members, family or work colleagues that are in need of support and guidance in some way.
I must admit that up until a couple of years ago I would be the first person to just shrug it off when people would talk about having depression and anxiety... I'd probably just think he/she was moaning and should just 'suck it up' and get on with it ... I now realise how wrong I was and that people with mental health issues that are not correctly treated can find themselves in some very serious and potentially dangerous situations, as can those around them.
Our mission at Workout Bristol is now and always has been be to positively impact the health, fitness and wellness of our community, both from a physical and mental perspective.
With that in mind we are currently in talks with local mental health charity 'Changes' and mental health support system for men 'Andy's Man Club' to see how we can partner up in a bid to support our members, our team and our wider community that suffer with mental health issues.
We'll keep you up to date over the coming weeks as to how this is progressing. To start with we are trying to set up a number of free support groups across our sites.
Together we'll figure out how to best look after ourselves and those around us.
As always, thank you for your ongoing support for Workout Bristol and our cause.
Craig Workout Bristol