New Eastbourne gym helps mental health patients improve wellbeing

Harry Walmsley (second left) and staff at the Department of Psychiatry SUS-180522-112613001
Harry Walmsley (second left) and staff at the Department of Psychiatry SUS-180522-112613001

Patients, NHS staff and the Friends of Eastbourne Hospital gathered to celebrate the opening of a new gym that aims to help patients with mental health conditions improve their physical health.

The gym at the Department of Psychiatry in Eastbourne officially opened after a donation from the Friends helped staff to purchase the exercise equipment, including a treadmill, rowing machine, exercise bike, punch bag and chin-up bars.

Run by Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, the department provides inpatient care, support and treatment for adults experiencing mental health conditions such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, clinical depression and severe anxiety.

Staff at the department wanted to set up the gym to give patients a place where they can maintain and improve their physical health, which in turn would help improve their mental health and aid their recovery. Kerri Gray at the hospital approached the trust’s charity Heads On for help to find funding to purchase the gym equipment. Kerri and the team were overwhelmed when the Friends donated £6,800.

Friends chairman Harry Walmsley said, “Physical health is very important to patients in the recovery of their mental wellbeing.”