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Mental health

How physical activity can be used to support young people’s mental health

April 26, 2023

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A new report released last month explores how physical activity within NHS Talking Therapies improves mental health outcomes for service users. The report is led by Transformation Partners in Health and Care, Sport England and Camden & Islington NHS Trust.

Interviews from 400 respondents, including NHS staff, community activity providers, commissioner and service users, found that there was overwhelming evidence for reduced risk of mental health problems. Service users were able to manage their symptoms effectively when physical activity was included.

The National Partnerships lead for health and inactivity welcomed the report and added:

“This report clearly shows that there is an appetite from everyone involved to better use physical activity as part of NHS Talking Therapies, as a way of improving the mental health of people living with anxiety and depression.

“There is clear evidence already that shows physical activity can help, but the report highlights some of the barriers which currently prevent it being routinely used in treatment.”


This comes as schemes of funding that directly impact physical activity levels amongst children and young people were confirmed last month. £22 million for the School Games organiser Network and the £600 million for PE and School Sport Premium will not only improve activity levels but ensure similar support for children and young people facing mental health issues.

To find out more, see here.

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