The festive period can be a difficult period for many struggling with mental health issues and a Sunderland gym wants to offer their support to help bring people out of the darkness.
Personal trainer Ross Hindmarch has spoken of how exercise helped him when he was struggling with mental health issues and has encouraged anyone else in a similar position to get in touch.
The 28-year-old, who owns Trans4rm Strength & Conditioning, has struggled with depression and anxiety and says fitness and exercise is one of the many things that helped him.
Ross took to social media to offer his help to anyone who is suffering with mental health issues and has received an overwhelming response.
In a touching post on Facebook, Ross said: “Every few weeks I hear of another person who’s been so low they’ve taken their own life, their friends and family will always say “they could’ve spoke about it” but from my experiences there’s some things I thought I couldn’t speak about and other things I simply didn’t want speak about.
“One thing that worked for me in those low times was exercise.”
Now partnered with Stu McKay, owner at Marine House Gym, the pair are hoping to encourage people to get in touch and use exercise as a way to boost positivity.
The start of a new year is a time for many people to start exercising and the pair want anyone going through a tough time to contact them.
Whether its to look into options for joining fitness classes, using the gym facilities or as a person to turn to to talk, Stu and Ross want to do what they can to help.
Speaking to the Echo, Ross said: “For years I struggled on hoping I could fix it myself.
“I think it’s nice for people to know that they are speaking to someone who understands. I’m not out of the tunnel but I’m living with it a lot more comfortably.
“I’ve got a good support network that’s there for me and I want to be that support network for someone else.”
Ross says that having spoken to his clients he says a large majority are currently or have previously suffered from anxiety or depression at some stage in their lives.
He said: “This isn’t about me it’s about letting people know who are struggling that we’re here as someone to talk to or if they don’t want to talk we can try help them in other ways.
“It started off on a small scale but its grown, we want to help anyone with advice, relaxation techniques, joining fitness classes or having the facilities to train on their own.
“Stu has seen what a good thing it is and it’s quite a big task for one person to take on, he said he wanted to do his bit to help. “