Fit for Life Foundation Joins United Global for Mental Health Leadership Circle to Support Action on Mental Health of Older People

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Fit for Life Foundation will work with leading global advocacy organization to better understand older people's mental health challenges and explore how exercise fosters good mental health at all ages.

Fit for Life Foundation (FFL) is proud to announce it has joined the Leadership Circle of United for Global Mental Health (UnitedGMH), the first organization dedicated to uniting the global effort to promote good mental health. As part of a select group of philanthropists, Fit for Life Foundation will work with UnitedGMH to better understand the mental health challenges facing older people, the link between mental health and physical activity, and how businesses can support employees’ mental health by enabling them to be more physically active.

Through its annual FFL Awards program, FFL provides funding for innovative, impactful projects that support lifelong fitness and independent mobility of older people worldwide. Jack Lowe, the foundation’s initiator, said: “In the process of reviewing applicants for our inaugural FFL Awards, we have come to understand that exercise-based programs are most successful when they address older people’s physical and mental health holistically, while also meeting their need for social connection and purpose.”

The benefits of exercise for mental wellbeing and brain health are well established. Regular moderate physical activity has a protective effect against depression and lowers one’s risk of developing dementia by up to 30% (Source: Harvard Health, Alzheimer’s UK). Jack Lowe said: “We would love to see exercise being integrated more widely in the treatment and prevention of depression and dementia, as well many other non-communicable diseases linked to a sedentariness, such as diabetes and obesity.”

Around one in four people will develop a mental health disorder in their lifetime, the most common being depression and anxiety. Yet despite the huge cost this represents for economies and health care systems, governments allocate on average only 2% of their health budgets to mental health, far less that for other diseases. Poor mental health disproportionately affects the most vulnerable people in society, including elders, many of whom struggle to access adequate treatment. Additionally, increased longevity has led to rising rates of dementia, which affects close to 50 million people worldwide today, a number that is predicted to grow dramatically as population aging accelerates (Source: UnitedGMH, WHO).

The UnitedGMH Leadership Circle brings together a range of individuals and organizations from around the world who believe in supporting mental health through philanthropy. Sarah Kline, co-founder and interim CEO of UnitedGMH said: “We are delighted that FFL has chosen to join us in catalyzing action on this crucial global challenge and we look forward to working with them to integrate mental health into FFL’s vision of healthy aging.”

About Fit for Life Foundation

The Fit for Life Foundation (FFL) is a Liechtenstein-registered non-profit established in 2020. FFL is dedicated to improving the quality of life of older people worldwide by supporting life-long fitness and independent mobility. Its flagship program, the Fit for Life Awards, provides financial support for innovative, impactful projects with a focus on middle-aged (40+) and older adults (65+). The foundation partners with like-minded organizations to scale up the scope and impact of its grants and build global awareness of the importance of physical activity for a healthy old age.

For more information about Fit for Life Foundation please visit:

About United Global for Mental Health

Founded in 2018, UnitedGMH specializes in advocacy, financing, and campaigning to secure significant results in increasing access and investment to mental health globally. UnitedGMH works closely with a variety of global and national players, including international agencies like WHO, governments, foundations, grassroots organizations, health professionals and businesses. Most recently, UnitedGMH played a key part in the creation of the Global Business Collaboration for Better Workplace Mental Health, launched in 2021 by a group of global companies, including BHP, bp, Clifford Chance, Deloitte, HSBC, Salesforce, Unilever and WPP.    

For more information about United for Global Mental Health please visit:

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Viviane Lowe
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