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Physical activity partnership will tackle youth mental health!

ukactive has teamed up with young people’s charity The Mix to help tackle mental health issues among under 25s by getting them to move more.

The partnership will combine the expertise and networks of both organisations to offer greater physical activity opportunities to young people.

This includes academic research into effective youth interventions, a planned physical activity referral scheme for young people, activity pilot schemes in schools for pupils at high risk of mental health issues and the creation of e-learning and signposting tools to help young people access physical activity programmes in their area.

The Mix, which was a lead partner for The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry’s Heads Together campaign, is a free support service for under 25s, helping more than two million young people in the UK each year.

Government figures show an increase in mental health issues among young people since 2010, with one in four women aged 16-24 having suffered from anxiety and depression, compared to 15 per cent of young men.

Studies show that physically active people have up to a 30 per cent lower risk of depression, while ukactive analysis found that getting young people active for 150 minutes a week could prevent more than 200,000 cases of depression by 2042 and save more than £2.7bn (US$3.5bn, €3bn) in NHS treatment costs.

Steven Ward, ukactive chief executive, said: "Today’s young people are the least active generation ever and this is having a serious knock-on effect in terms of mental health issues. Promoting physical, mental and social health must be the cornerstone of any policy setting up our young people to succeed and that’s why we’re thrilled to have The Mix as our new charity partner and will work together to take meaningful strides in this vital area.”

Chris Martin, The Mix Chief Executive, said: "We are incredibly excited to be working with ukactive and it members to support the mental wellbeing of young people. Together we want to get more young people engaged with invaluable support services like The Mix but most importantly to get them - and their friends - engaging with the physical activities and exercise communities that can be so important in allowing them to manage their mental wellbeing, deal with life challenges and change their lives for the better.”