Mental Health is a bigger social concern than ever and despite all the efforts on behalf of the NHS and UK based charities, the needs of the individuals experiencing symptoms of ill health are still under provided for.
There will always be a place for traditional medical interventions and talking therapies but we believe there is great benefit to be found in teaching people to benefit themselves through lifestyle changes.
It's widely accepted and often thought of even as common sense that regular exercise brings many health benefits including that of better mental health and over all feelings of wellbeing.
That being said where do you begin? Whats the right exercise for you?
More specifically if you're experiencing symptoms of mental illness, is a traditional gym environment going to be suitable for you? What might the implications of any prescribed medication be on your ability to safely and effectively exercise?
Who can you turn to for support around all these questions?
That's where we come in! Exercise has always been recommended in support of over all better physical and mental health but we will actively work with clients to overcome any obstacles in integrating positive changes into their lives.
Our service will take a holistic approach bringing together the benefits of one to one or small group physical training, education on making better nutritional choices and methods borrowed from traditional CBT to support lasting change.
Because all our staff have lived experience of mental illness you can feel confident you will always be treated with empathy while receiving the support you need to take control of your life!
Hi I'm Luke Blackman, the founder of Blackman Health & Fitness; here's a bit about my story...
From a young age I have lived with symptoms of Anxiety and Depression. At my worst I was habitually self harming just to feel something and keep my mind from thoughts of suicide, medicated and had tried various talking therapies with little effect. I began working a high pressure job miles away from family, long hours were the expectation and as my stress levels creeped higher I began drinking excessively and abusing substances. I put on more weight than I've ever carried and my over all health was noticeably suffering.
I knew something needed to be done but it took a family death to bring me to action. It was time to go back to the drawing board, I knew I wanted to do something different but I didn't know what.
I moved back to my family home, got a part-time cafe job to tide me over and started investing in myself. I began reading everything I could get my hands on, anything that would inspire and motivate me. Eventually I took up sessions with a personal trainer in a local gym and that truly was the event that changed my life.
I couldn't believe how much structured exercise with someone that took the time to care and understand me benefitted my mental health. As time passed my confidence resurfaced, my self worth grew and my purpose started to become clear.
My exact thoughts... Why isn't there someone supporting people through tried and tested methods to benefit their Mental Health through exercise and better lifestyle choices.
Thats where the concept began and I found my passion.
Since then I've qualified and worked as a Personal Trainer in various commercial gyms, specialised in exercise referrals and founded Blackman Health & Fitness.
So here's the plan...
We want to make a difference to Mental Health in the UK!
It's not just about working with diagnosed patients, although we plan for referrals to eventually be a large portion of our business. It's about making a difference in local communities by providing resources to improve the over all health and wellbeing of individuals, promoting healthy minds, functional bodies and happy fulfilling lives.
The services we offer will vary from one to one and small group sessions to larger group classes, workshops, seminars, online coaching and weekend retreats.
Our service will provide additional cost effective referral options for the NHS. A set number of free charity referrals will be offered each quarter along side subsidised services for community referrals of individuals from low income households. Our paid services in the local community will help to fund the subsidies we provide.
We have acquired our first premise based in Birmingham in the residential area of Erdington on its busy high street. This will be the testing grounds for all our concepts. We plan to test a number of formats and approaches within our first 12 months trading before using all the collected data to create standardised operating procedures and structured staff training programmes.
The goal here is to consistently deliver the most effective approach for our clients at a price point that is accessible for all. It is our core belief that good health and wellbeing should be accessible for all.
With standardised processes in place and proven results at our initial premise we will use this template to expand to additional locations as our goal is to reach beyond one community and have a nationwide impact.
How your money will be used...
All work done up to this point has been completed as a result of dedicating every penny of personal funds available. Understandably this has created limitations on what can be achieved considering time is currently split between earning money to fund progress and actually getting the work done. In addition to this I'm having to resign from my current role as a Personal Trainer in a commercial gym due to a conflict of interests. I've committed and put all in for this venture, it's my dream and I'm convinced it will make a positive difference to the lives of others. I hope you see the same potential.
So far work has been done to improve the aesthetics of the premise and purchase the absolute minimum requirement of basic equipment but there is still much to be addressed.
To have a wide reaching positive impact the facilities we provide first need to meet legal regulations for fire, health and safety. In addition to this the space needs to be fully fit for purpose and complete to a standard that welcomes our clients and elevates the brand.
Priority will be first given to work on meeting building regulations followed by improvement of plumbing and basic facilities. The remaining funds will be used for the purchase of two cardiovascular machines, heavier weights for our range of kettlebells, in addition to smaller accessory equipment and fixtures.
This injection of funding will enable us to begin trading at full capacity within 8 weeks of the deposit.
Thank you for taking the time to read about this project!
It's people like you that can help to make change a reality, every donation is greatly appreciated and will be put to good use. We invite you to follow our progress. You can do so by coming down to visit us or following us on instagram @blackmanhealthandfitness
Building anything new and attempting to make a difference is hard work and at times rather draining, your support makes it all that more achievable, together we are stronger!