Community mental health gyms

We want to put a community mental health gym in every town, in every country.

We want to create a not for profit open-source model so any individual could follow a plan to set up and run their own mental health gym in their community.

Each mental health gym will provide a community with a way to improve its mental health and a fulfilling job in every community for someone to run it.


What is a mental health gym?

A place to improve your mental fitness.

There is a spectrum of health for both your body and your mind. Ranging from illness to wellness.

If you have an illness you go to see a doctor you don’t go to a gym.

A gym is a place to improve your fitness and wellbeing. It does not replace the need for professional medical help to treat illness.


How does a mental health gym work?

Helping people to replace bad habits with good habits.

There is no template to follow (yet) so how it works will inevitably change but this is the initial concept.

The initial idea is based upon the 5 pillars recommended by the NHS to improve your mental wellbeing.

  1. Connect with other people
  2. Be physically active
  3. Learn new skills
  4. Give to others
  5. Pay attention to the present moment (mindfulness)

The gyms will have free monthly activities for anyone to take part in and regular weekly activities for paid members of the gym.

The free monthly activities might include

  • Simple, free group exercises like running
  • Volunteering
  • Social events

A paid for membership will mean you join a cohort of people doing it together and might include things like

  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Physical activities
  • Educational events
  • Homework to do outside formal sessions
  • Peer to peer mentoring

If you have any ideas about how it could work please get in touch using the contact form.


What does open-source mean?

  • Free for anyone to access the plan
  • Anyone can contribute improvements

The fact that this whole project is open source is critical for two reasons.

  1. All the information for anyone to set up and run a mental health gym will be available online for free. This will mean that anyone anywhere in the world can set one up in their community.
  2. Any academic with scientific research to help improve mental health in communities can contribute their findings to improve the process for everyone. We can also collect ideas from people with lived experience of improving their mental health. Although not scientifically proven these ideas might help others.