The Galleries Shopping Centre is launching its participation in Mental Health Awareness Week on Saturday 12th May with a day of exercise, advice and fundraising in partnership with Washington Mind.

The event will help raise awareness of Mental Health Awareness Week which runs from the 14th-20th May.

Staff will be rowing and cycling in Wessington Square to kickstart a challenge to take 7 million steps to match the 3,540 miles from here to Washington DC to highlight the benefits of exercise in combating stress thanks to a loan of machines from Everyone Active.

On the day, they will be raising money for Washington Mind and staff from the local charity will also be on hand to offer advice to shoppers.

Simon Tucker, interim centre manager of the Galleries Shopping Centre, said: “This year the focus for Mental Health Awareness is stress. Research has shown that two thirds of us experience a mental health problem in our lifetimes, and stress is a key factor in this.

“Our team are aiming to take 7 million steps during the week while at the same time raising money for Washington Mind.  We are also offering shoppers and our tenants the chance to experience an introduction to mindfulness to help reduce stress every day during the week.”

Jemma Hutchinson, Business Support Manager at Washington Mind, added: “We are extremely grateful to all of the staff at the Galleries Shopping Centre for choosing Washington Mind to benefit from their fundraising. This is also a great opportunity for us to raise awareness ready for Mental Health Awareness Week. Stress can take its toll on us all and by understanding the signs of stress and how it affects us, we can all learn how to manage life’s stressful situations and cope better.”

During Mental Health Awareness Week itself, shoppers can take part in a free 15-minute introduction to mindfulness in Wessington Square ran by Recoco.

Mindfulness is a proven technique to reduce stress and help you feel more in control that you can

use at anytime and anywhere. The sessions will include relaxation, breathing meditation, and mindful movement and will run at 12.30 and 1pm.

For more information about Mental Health Awareness Week visit: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week

For more information on Washington Mind visit:
http://www.washingtonmind.org.uk/