Healthy Minds: Supporting wellbeing through university and beyond

Bristol alumnus, Ashley Dunn, is a man who’s always on the move. Currently working as a postman, he keeps his step count sky-high by delivering letters and parcels up and down the hills of Bristol. Since graduating in 2018 with a degree in Philosophy he’s also chalked up two triathlons, a half marathon and a 10K. Next year, the 30-year-old will tackle the challenge on every runner’s bucket list: the London marathon.

But running wasn’t always a way of life for Ashley. He started his fitness journey with the University’s Health Minds programme. This initiative, which started in 2016, aims to help students experiencing mental health difficulties to support their wellbeing through a bespoke exercise programme. Students benefit from the physical activity itself, but also by being paired up with a mentor – a member of the fitness team with advanced mental health training – who coaches them throughout. For Ashley, taking part gave him a much-needed boost during a very difficult time.