Menopausal Mermaids mental health project

This month, the Mental Health Champion for Northern Ireland, Professor Siobhan O’Neill, is launching the ‘Small Moves, Big Changes’ campaign, to encourage everyone to incorporate some form of physical activity into their daily routine to enhance their mental wellbeing - with a little help from some Portrush swimmers.

“Simple easy steps such as walking or wheeling, playing sport with friends, swimming with the family, or being active around the home, can have a significant positive impact on your mental health,” says Professor O’Neill.

Featured through this campaign are the stories of those people who have adopted different forms of physical activity to support and improve their own mental wellbeing.

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The campaign features the Menopausal Mermaids who take a five-minute bracing dip in the Atlantic Sea every day around the north coast.

Nicole Morelli, founder of the Menopausal Mermaids

Nicole Morelli, Founder of Menopausal Mermaids based in the North Coast says: “I was delighted that myself and the Menopausal Mermaids were asked to be part of this fantastic campaign.

“I formed the group in 2018 following my hip replacement as a way to keep active and recover.

“Our group is a mix of diverse women from different backgrounds with a combination of lived experiences from retirement, mental health issues, bereavement, illness and more. By coming together, we collectively support each other and offer an outlet to talk without judgement, as well as keeping active in the most exhilarating way and having a good laugh.”

Physical activity has a positive impact on wellbeing and mood; and exercise can also help people with depression and anxiety. It relieves stress, improves memory, helps you sleep better, and boosts your overall mood.

For more information on how to make ‘Small Moves, Big Changes’ visit https://covidwellbeingni.info or follow the Mental Health Champion for NI on social media.