MINDFIT Running Group

Who are we?

MINDFIT is a wellbeing running group and is open to all students to help them manage their mental health. The philosophy of the group is to focus on the benefits and the joy of walking/running in nature, and is not competitive.

MINDFIT is particularly useful for those students who experience depression/anxiety/stress and combines a counselling approach with a structured ‘couch-to-5km’ programme. MINDFIT creates community and belonging for students.

MINDFIT started as a face-to-face group, but due to COVID we are currently developing this as an online offer – MINDFIT Online, which in the longer term will help us scale up this project and be able to reach and support more students, who live in different places or are on placement.

As with the face-to-face group, the online offer will offer wellbeing support and build a Sheffield Hallam running for wellbeing community using the couch to 5 model.

Our aims for MINDFIT online

– Brings and innovative approach to therapy, with a humanistic philosophy
– Increases access to therapy/wellbeing offers
– Helps harder to reach students to be active
– A combined approach where the sum is greater than parts
– Creates community
– To scale the project and reach more students during Covid and beyond, embedding good practice and widening participation

MINDFIT online aligns with the following Hallam Model principles:

Engage – provide roles for students to develop and grow – such as sports activators (plus develop as run leaders)

Challenge – Mental health is a real world problem

Thrive – helping students to thrive providing a supportive environment, psycho education and community awareness

Collaborate – Learning with others and work as a MINDFIT team supporting all participants

Achievements to date

Student Wellbeing led the first phase of the project – of 4 groups, with support from Health and Wellbeing and Psychology academic staff. Over 20 students took part with great success.

This is also a mixed methods research project and we ran 3 focus groups and carried out pre and post anxiety and depression measures. There is a report on outcomes and thematic analysis. The outcomes are very positive with themes of building a community, belonging, mastery of a goal , improved academic attainment and commitment.


Jan Gurung – j.gurung@shu.ac.uk
Senior Wellbeing Practitioner
Psychotherapist ( BACP accredited)
Student Wellbeing