Improving mental health in young people aged 11-16 years is the focus of an initiative delivered by Abbeycroft Leisure, in partnership with Suffolk County Council and Suffolk Mind.

Stand Tall is a well-being and physical activity initiative, delivering eight-week programmes aimed at young people who have mental health issues such as stress, anxiety, low self-esteem and lack of confidence. The programmes, developed in collaboration with Suffolk Mind, focus on the twelve ‘needs’ that a person requires to have good mental health.

Thanks to funding from Suffolk County Council’s Public Mental Health Fund, Abbeycroft will deliver twenty-four additional programmes by February 2024 in secondary schools and within the community across West Suffolk Council and Babergh District Council catchments.

Cllr Andrew Reid, Suffolk County Council Cabinet Member for Public Health and Public Protection, said:

“The Public Mental Health programme aims to support the things that keep us all mentally well in our day-today lives. These include activities that keep us moving and bring us together with other people from our communities.

“Suffolk County Council is pleased to be working with Abbeycroft Leisure to support more people to enjoy the wellbeing benefits of moving more. StandTall is a great programme for young people to try new activities and kick-start a more physically active lifestyle.”

Matt Hickey, Health and Wellbeing Manager at Abbeycroft said:
“We’re very grateful for this funding which will allow us to deliver even more StandTall programmes to help improve the mental health of youngsters within our community.”

“The programmes include a mix of physical activity and workshops to understand the mental health continuum and how to achieve wellbeing/good mental health, life balance, effective communication and stress management.”

Young people from a recent StandTall programme commented:
“I feel good and much better”
“I am not so anxious”
“I’m less scared of some situations”
“StandTall has helped improve my confidence”

Abbeycroft Leisure is a not-for-profit social enterprise which delivers leisure, health and wellbeing services through partnerships with West Suffolk Council and Babergh District Council, helping to support the councils’ ambitions for healthy communities.

Find out more about StandTall here

Stand Tall boxing at Sudbury Academy
Stand Tall at Sudbury
Stand Tall pupil with instructor at Sudbury Academy
Stand Tall classroom setting at Sudbury Academy