The Body and Mind Project is founded on the principle that patients with experience of anxiety, stress and depression respond better to treatment when an integrated approach to physical and mental wellbeing is employed.
Founder Laurie Salt, a neuroscience graduate from the University of Sussex, received a grant of £2,000 from the annual Santander Junior Associate Entrepreneurship Bursary scheme to support a pilot project. She is currently working with the Sussex Innovation Centre to prove that it can become a viable, sustainable social enterprise.
"As a former employee of a major mental health charity, I have seen first-hand that integrated approaches to healthcare significantly improve mental and physical wellbeing when compared to a single mode of treatment,” she said.
"With the help of this initial funding I plan to demonstrate these benefits in practice, and develop partnerships that will support me in building a permanent integrated healthcare resource in Brighton & Hove."
Beginning on September 2, the project will offer a full course of mindfulness therapy with a qualified instructor, and eight optional weekly healthwalks. With the help of public funding from Brighton & Hove City Council and the Santander Bursary, the course will cost participants just £40.
"I’m passionate about reducing the discrimination, stigma and prejudice towards people with mental health conditions,” added Salt. "In the future I hope to establish a wellbeing and fitness community centre that can help raise awareness of these issues whilst providing an inclusive and supportive environment, catering for all aspects of healthcare, fitness, nutrition and wellbeing. This pilot project is an exciting first step on that journey."