Welsh sports stars, charity and fitness app unite for World Mental Health Day

A SUPPORT charity and pioneering Wales-based fitness app have joined forces to promote mental health awareness.

Fitap provides a platform for communities in Wales to get moving; supporting people in their health and well-being journey involves their mental health, and signposting services in their geographical area, as well as encouraging people to exercise, eat healthily and keep active will aid their mental and physical welfare.

Alongside CALL Mental Health Helpline for Wales – and to mark World Mental Health Day today (October 10) – they have united to shine a light on an issue which is more prevalent than ever given the post-pandemic economic and social climate.

Fitap founder Alex Cuthbert – who launched the app with Wales rugby union teammate Gareth Anscombe and Welsh CEO and entrepreneur Dean Jones – is proud to be in association with CALL.

He said: “From a sporting perspective, given the demands of the game and the abuse and negativity you can experience on social media and online, it is so important to look after your mental health.

“Having experienced that myself and seen friends and other players impacted, it was a big part of the reason we wanted to do all we could to get behind CALL and promote the value of exercise, social interaction, and nutrition, especially given the amount of time people spent in self-isolation and lockdown.

“Knowing someone is there for you is important, and for those who don’t have friends or family to talk to, being able to pick up the phone and speak to the amazing team at CALL is a lifeline.”

Dean added: “We are delighted to be in partnership with CALL and through Fitap can help display and demonstrate the wide range of services available for those who need them most, whether it’s a support group, a phone number or website, there are people who can help at the touch of a button.

“It’s crucial that we get people talking and remove any stigmas around mental health, because it affects so many people, especially at the current time. By putting all this information in one central, accessible place, Fitap can help people with that.”

Statistics from MentalHealth-UK.org website revealed people who take part in regular physical activity have up to a 30% lower risk of depression, so the pairing of the app and charity are a perfect match.

CALL Manager Luke Ogden reinforced Dean’s words and thanked Fitap – which unveiled double Olympic gold medalist Jade Jones as a brand ambassador in past weeks – for making mental health services a priority.

“We are pleased to be working with Fitap to promote good mental and physical health to the people of Wales,” he said.

“Mental and physical well-being are both closely related and can have an effect on each other, and we feel it is essential that everyone has the tools to learn how they can look after themselves.”

Luke added: “CALL Helpline is an all-Wales mental health helpline, free to use for anyone living in Wales.

“We give emotional support and provide a listening ear for anyone wanting to discuss their mental health concerns and can also signpost users to services across the country.

“Like Fitap, we are always available and are able to support the people of Wales both in Welsh and English – 24/7.”

For more information on Fitap, follow @fitapofficial on social media.

Text 81066 or call freephone 0800 132 737 for more on CALL Mental Health Helpline for Wales. Alternatively, visit www.callhelpline.org.uk.

Visit the World Health Organization website for news and information on World Mental Health Day: www.who.int/campaigns/world-mental-health-day