AFTER the festive season many people resolve to look after themselves better and the polls show that health is the priority for those committing to a personal change in the new year. This year, aside from making individual New Year Resolutions, we are lucky to have the opportunity to be part of something much bigger – Coventry and Warwickshire’s ‘Year of Wellbeing’.
The Year of Wellbeing has come about thanks to a unique partnership between Coventry and Warwickshire Health and Wellbeing Boards – which is the first of its kind in the country. They have come together to tackle challenges including the rise in ill-health, physical inactivity, and less tangible problems such as loneliness and social isolation. During 2019, through their shared resources, they will seek to establish stronger, healthier communities, emphasising the importance of positive action to safeguard health and wellbeing. The Year of activity will include celebration events, activity sessions in primary schools, engagement with older people and work to support charities and community groups with their existing efforts to improve wellbeing.
Wellbeing encompasses both physical and mental health, and this week is a particularly significant one for the latter. The 2019 Year of Wellbeing project is supporting ‘Time to Talk Day’ (February 7), which encourages everyone – and not just those who suffer themselves – to break the silence around mental health problems. This year, Time to Talk Day is about bringing together the right ingredients to have a conversation about mental health: whether that is tea, biscuits and close friends, or a room full of people challenging mental health stigma.
In my role as a local MP, as well as Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, I recognise the importance of improving not only our own personal wellbeing, but also that of the people around us – in our families, friendship circles and communities. When I met with the organisers of the 2019 Year of Wellbeing to talk about this exciting initiative, they asked me to make my own pledge in support of the project. My pledge was to join a gym (which I’m happy to say I have), and I hope that others will join me in making their own pledges and encouraging others to do the same.
I am sure that the Year of Wellbeing will be a huge success, and I thank those who are spearheading it for their hard work and commitment in bringing this excellent project to fruition.
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