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Mental health charity teams up with exercise champ

Rory Girvan, NI powerlifting champion and mental health ambassador for the charity Niamh, took part in an awareness event at Sainbury's Holywood Exchange to promote the link between exercise and mental wellbeing
Seanín Graham

A MENTAL health charity teamed up with a powerlifting champion at the weekend to promote the link between physical fitness and mental wellbeing.

Niamh, the Northern Ireland Association for Mental Health, and Northern Ireland powerlifter Rory Girvan met with shoppers and staff at Sainbury's Holywood Exchange - which has chosen the organisation as its charity of the year - to raise awareness about support services for those battling depression and mental health problems,

Research carried out by Mental Health Foundation (MHF) shows that that poor physical health can lead to an increased risk of developing mental health problems.

Mr Girvan, who runs a gym in Belfast city centre and is an ambassador for the charity, is encouraging men in particular to make the effort to protect and enhance their mental wellbeing to the same extent as they look often look after their physical state.

After conquering his own mental health problems, he went on to compete at an international level in powerlifting, taking second place at the world games last year.

He also sits on both the Irish and Northern Ireland powerlifting committees.

"Being mentally fit is often the essential foundation for becoming and remaining physically fit and strong," he said.

Shoppers got some practical tips and advice on improving their physical health, while accessing information on the types of support and services Niamh can provide to anyone who may be experiencing mental ill-health.

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