The Rona Sailing Project (RSP) has been running sailing for mental health voyages for many years. The voyages have been a wonderful opportunity for us to learn about and try to understand just some of the problems, emotions, and challenges that people suffering mental health problems have to cope with. We have also seen the difference Sailing for Mental Health with the RSP can make to people’s lives.
Many people have tried to analyse the benefits of Sail Training to people with mental health problems. It can be summed up in four words, a Sail Training Voyage gives people Community, Support, Direction, and Achievement. The four basic elements that many people often suffer from the lack of and the RSP adds a good dose of safety and a lot of FUN.
One of our great successes was a young lady who had a long history of Mental Health problems. She sailed with the Project as a crew member on the Sailing for Mental Health Voyages and went on to achieve an RYA Day Skipper qualification. She now sails as a volunteer and that sailing with the RSP gave her the confidence to apply for a University place, she achieved her degree and now works for a local council in their care department helping others with mental health problems to find a way forward. There are many stories like hers in the RSP and we are very proud to have helped in even a small way to improve their well-being. We are not trained or experts in the mental health field but we do know about sail training and we know that it works.
We also know that mental health problems can affect anyone, at any time and so mental health is everyone’s business. It’s our business because 50% of mental health problems are established by age 14 and 75% by age 24. We work with young people from the age of 14 and some come with established mental health problems. We can’t claim to solve these problems, but we can help. Sail training allows people with or without mental health problems to make friends, to build confidence and learn new skills. Sometimes a sailing voyage helps people to see things from a different perspective and we aim to help with that.
May 13th – May 19th is #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek and the Mental Health foundation campaign around a very specific theme every year raising awareness of topics like stress, relationships, loneliness, sleep, alcohol and friendship. This year the theme is Body Image. Every week 30% of all adults have felt so stressed by body image and appearance that they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope. That’s almost 1 in every 3 people. Body image issues can affect all of us at any age and directly impact our mental health.
This year the Rona Sailing Project is getting behind then campaign to raise awareness #BeBodyKind #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek
If you think that you or someone you know no matter what their age or circumstances would like to try sailing for mental health please get in contact.