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Lowestoft gym to be a 'focal point'

PUBLISHED: 10:28 07 August 2009 | UPDATED: 11:22 06 July 2010

A NEW £70,000 gym has been established to help people with mental health problems in Waveney to keep in good physical shape - and boost their self-esteem at the same time.

A NEW £70,000 gym has been established to help people with mental health problems in Waveney to keep in good physical shape - and boost their self-esteem at the same time.

The gym - which will also be used by carers and staff - has opened at Norfolk and Waveney Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust's unit at Carlton Court, in Carlton Colville, near Lowestoft.

The new facility, adjoining the Waveney Acute Services Centre, cost about £50,000 to build and more than £20,000 has been spent on gym equipment including running, cycling, treadmill and cross trainer machines.

Chris Wager, manager of Waveney Acute Services, said the gym would help the service to refocus the care it provided in terms of people's whole lives.

He said: “We are sure that this will change the face of how we deliver mental healthcare, and improve people's everyday lives in Waveney.

“The gym is a focal point, offering services which aim to improve physical health and wellbeing, thereby providing huge positive benefits for mental health.

“Waveney Acute Services has trained its staff to develop wellbeing programmes, including advice on nutrition, and how to stop smoking, plus physical activity through the use of the gym at Carlton Court. The wellbeing programmes extend into the community, and aim to help people take on healthier lifestyles within their everyday lives.”

Mr Wager said that the links between good physical and mental health were widely recognised.

He said: “GPs often prescribe physical exercise to people with mild depression, and it can have a big effect on the self-esteem of people with secondary mental health problems. If they lead an inactive lifestyle, or have maybe put on weight because of medication, the gym will be a big benefit.”

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