Men’s Health Week takes place 10th – 16th June 2019. This week, the Trust will be focusing on the link between physical health and mental health, encouraging men to get prostate cancer checks, and use the opportunity to promote some of our new fitness challenges and programmes that you will benefit from.

One of our programmes which supports vulnerable people and helps them achieve a healthy body and mind is Active Choices. Active Choices is a healthy lifestyle and behavioural change programme which helps people who have struggled with substance misuse issues.

Marcus wants to share his story to encourage and inspire other addicts to take control of their life…

Marcus has become a different person since he joined Active Choices 11 months ago. Marcus was referred to the programme by Phoenix Futures and was very anxious about getting involved with the programme despite lots of encouragement from his Key Worker.

Marcus had always been an active individual who enjoyed cycling and circuit training but he this came to an end when his other addictions took over.

He was referred three times by his Key Worker within a 3-month period, however failed to attend on all three occasions. His Key Worker then came along to the session to support him, and that was the catalyst for him to engage on the programme.

“Looking back, I was so anxious about attending, and I would never have attended if it wasn’t for my Key Worker bringing me to the session and helping me to overcome the fear I was feeling. As soon as I got to the session, Adam and Marek made me feel at ease and I haven’t looked back since. I feel a lot more comfortable in social situations and integrating with other participants.”

“I was very anxious about getting involved with Active Choices as all I did was stay in my bedroom watching TV and playing on the computer whilst ordering takeaways whenever I was hungry. I basically shut myself off from the outside world and the only things I kept an interest in was returning to cycling and circuit training, hoping that one day I would be able to participate in again. My physical health and social skills had become that poor that I never imagined I’d ever do these activities again.”

With his confidence, social skills and physical health at an all time high, Marcus then felt ready to take the next step and move into employment.

“I’ve remained abstinent, improved my health through eating better and doing more exercise. My mental health is great and I’m now in full time employment for the first time in 8 years. There is no way I would have been able to be in full-time employment if I hadn’t of joined the programme.

I couldn’t even leave my bedroom – I had no confidence, no social life, routine or motivation.  I’m thankful to the partnership between Phoenix Futures and Derby County Community Trust for providing me with this opportunity.”

To find out more about Active Choices, please email [email protected]

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