Mental Fitness - A Fresh Approach to Supporting Mental Health
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About The Workshop


'Mental Fitness' is a developing concept, that has captured the interest in workshop facilitator, Dr Neil Bindemann. It has the potential to offer us a way to develop the capacity for a healthy and strong mind, to allow them to handle the challenges and opportunities that life puts in front of us. This workshop will look at recent research around defining 'Mental Fitness' and it explore, how by using this term it can offer a more prevention-based approach to supporting peoples’ mental health. This morning workshop will take you through the 4 guiding principles of mental fitness which are:

  •   • Fitness is a positive term without connotations of illness implied by mental health or mental illness
  •   • Mental fitness can be understood by the wider community in a similar way to physical fitness
  •   • Mental fitness is measurable
  •   • Mental fitness can be improved in a similar way to physical fitness

Learning Outcomes

The aim of this short training course is for delegates to gain a better understanding of mental fitness, what it means and how to apply it to as way to help prevent mental illness, particularly in people who may have suffered a trauma or are living with a long condition. and to understand what helps to promote and maintain mental fitness. By the end of the session delegates will understand:

  • The meaning of mental fitness
  • How Mental Fitness relates to mental illness
  • What influences mental fitness
  • What helps to promote and maintain mental fitness

Delegates will also gain access to a range of resources and suggested activities which will help to promote and maintain mental fitness.

Feedback from previous workshops

Delegate at the last workshop gave the following comments in their feedback:
"Really useful discussing with others how to apply concepts to work/current patients, and learning from people with lived experiences"

The delegates particularly found the following useful:
"Good interaction space"; 
"Looking at changing mindets/overcoming resistances"; 
"Learning about growth mindset – using it when talking to patients about ability to learn and change" 
"imagery of mental fitness" (Found most useful about today)

Other comments included "All very useful. Thought provoking. Useful to have links between what we know we should do and what we actually do!" 

Who is the workshop for?

This workshop is appropriate for anybody interested in the care of people living with a long term condition.

Workshop Facilitators

Chris Morgan
Chris has background in management, having been a company director, then managing director, of a family-owned engineering company for 25 years. Following the closure of the firm, and a period of personal experience of severe depression, Chris started work in the voluntary sector, particularly with two local MIND associations, as a volunteer, bank support worker, project coordinator, and as a trustee.

Chris joined the South-East Development Centre of the National Institute for Mental Health in England (NIMHE) in March 2004 as a Development Consultant for Suicide Prevention, taking on the Programme. In January 2006 Chris took on a lead role, which involved networking across mental health services, primary care, local authorities and the voluntary sector, and encouraging good practice in mental health promotion and suicide prevention.

Also in 2006 Chris became a founder member of the National Training Team for Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) in England. MHFA is a two day/14 hour course for anybody, and helps to reduce the fear and ignorance which often surrounds mental health issues. It gives people a simple model of how to help anyone who is in mental distress, and signpost them to appropriate help.

As well as working for the NHS and the Department of Health, Chris has co-ordinated the work of SMART (Sevenoaks Mind Awareness Raising Team), which provides mental health awareness workshops throughout Kent to voluntary, statutory, and private sector organisations. More recently he chaired the group, established the funding for a new coordinator with lottery grants, and other funding. The group is now a project of West Kent Mind


Neil Bindemann PhD
Following the completion of his PhD in 1993, which focussed on peripheral nerve injury, Neil has worked in the field of medical education and communication. He has worked in various medical and healthcare fields and stimulated a number of healthcare initiative For the last 10 years, his work has taken him into the field of neurosciences and rehabilitation. Neil was instrumental in establishing the Primary Care Neurology Society in 2004 and continues to drive the organisation forward. In 2006 he was invited to manage and run the Community Therapists Network (previously the Community Rehabilitation Teams Network) and for the past 5 years, Neil worked closely with Professor Pam Enderby (now Prof Emeritus of Community Rehabilitation) on the provision of training on the Therapy Outcome Measure (TOM) across the Allied Health Professions. Then in 2015, following a period of disturbing neurological symptoms, Neil was diagnosed with a brain tumour, which thankfully, following urgent brain surgery, was found to be relatively benign. Using his personal experience, and life-long interest in quality of life, which includes developing, Neil has recently turned his attention to finding ways to support people’s mental health, especially if they are learning to cope with a traumatic life event. .

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Venue Address

Blackburn Business
Development Centre, 
Eanam Wharf, 
Blackburn, BB1 5BL