Mental Health Week We have been supporting Mental Health Week with our wide range of free services for disabled people and people with long term health conditions. Read about our partnership with BIG Health and Fitness and body image which is the theme of Mental Health Week for 2019. We have been working closely with BIG Health and Fitness for some time now due to their expertise in helping people to lose weight and exercise safely. Read about their founder, Graham Waugh, from the BIG Health and Fitness website: "Graham’s story - BIG Health and Fitness was started by Graham Waugh after his own experience of obesity, and the struggle to achieve sustainable weight loss. In 2012 Graham was one of the heaviest men in the UK at 52 stone. He had been a recluse for 15 years and felt trapped in his own home. Graham’s experience of working from 52 stone through to being a qualified personal trainer has given him a unique insight into making the fitness process more accessible and supportive. His journey to fitness inspired him to ensure that there are safe places where others can come to develop their fitness; without fear of being judged or laughed at. To follow Graham’s story further, please follow his YouTube Channel". Graham was recently interviewed on BBC radio and said “I was using food to make me feel better because we really… use food as a crutch and then because you've overeaten you feel bad about yourself and depressed and then you put on weight” and added “The majority people we help suffer from anxiety and depression and so that's the first thing we need to do before helping someone to lose weight, we help them with socialising and coming out of them selves a wee bit.... We've helped hundreds of people, well over 200 people have been through the gym and that's the first thing that we do is help them deal with is the depression and anxiety because they have a fear of walking in the gym and we have to break the barriers” (Graham was talking on The JVS Show on BBC Three Counties Radio) Graham, Jude and their team helped with the installation of their new fitness suite for disabled people and people with long term health conditions. You can see the photos of the fitness suite and see the latest times and days for fitness classes run by the BIG Health and Fitness team at The Disability Resource Centre. We support people in many ways at The Disability Resource Centre with programmes designed to have a positive effect on emotional and mental health. See our latest workshops and programs including: Free wellbeing workshops Thanks to funding from Central Bedfordshire Council and Bedford Borough Council we are launching a series of free wellbeing workshops. This is me Improve your health, confidence & wellbeing. We can help with our brand new "This is me" support programme. We have a series of free workshops to help you be the best you can be. Courses for life Find out about our free training courses to help you build your confidence and feel calm. Learn about our free IT training and employment support programmes too. You can more about this years theme of body image in the Mental Health foundation's body image report, this is a small extract: "What causes body image concerns? Having body image concerns is a relatively common experience and is not a mental health problem in and of itself; however, it can be a risk factor for mental health problems. Research has found that higher body dissatisfaction is associated with a poorer quality of life, psychological distress and the risk of unhealthy eating behaviours and eating disorders. How does body image affect mental health? Higher body dissatisfaction is associated with a poorer quality of life, psychological distress and the risk of unhealthy eating behaviours and eating disorders. Conversely, body satisfaction and appreciation has been linked to better overall wellbeing and fewer unhealthy dieting behaviours. Though feeling unsatisfied with our bodies and appearance is often more common among young women, body image concerns are relevant from childhood through to later life and affect both women and men. Body satisfaction and appreciation has been linked to better overall wellbeing and fewer unhealthy dieting behaviours." Free workshops to help you be the best you can be Our team here in Dunstable is here to support you. Come for a chat to see how we can help you then choose the workshops that will suit you best. Please call us on 01582 470900 or email us to find out more.