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Swim England and Mind work to promote mental health benefits of swimming

Swim England and Mind are working together to promote the benefits swimming can offer to people experiencing a mental health problem.

As part of the Get Set to Go campaign, the two charities will also be educating the swimming workforce and facility staff on mental health.

And they will also share messages about how swimming can support positive mental health across their social media channels.

Duane Newton, Swim England Health and Wellbeing Manager, said: “Everyone will be affected by poor mental health at some point in their lives.

“People respond to these challenges in many different ways. Swimming is one of those activities that allows people to take part in the way that suits them.

“This might be taking some time to relax on your own, or train hard with friends. Swimming offers so many options that really can help everyone.

“We have always worked closely with Mind and are looking forward to increasing awareness of swimming and its mental health benefits to a wider audience.”

Building resilience

Get Set to Go helps people find the physical activity that is right for them, so they are able to enjoy the physical, social and mental benefits of being active.

Hayley Jarvis, Head of Physical Activity for Mind, said: “We know that physical activity can play a vital role in the lives of people with mental health problems and can be as effective as medication for some people experiencing mild to moderate depression.

“It can reduce the risk of depression by up to 30 per cent and can improve a person’s resilience and ability to cope, alongside medication and other support such as talking therapies.

“Unfortunately, we also know that many people who do want to be more active are being held back by their mental health, whether that’s feelings of low self-confidence, exhaustion or fear of crowded spaces.

“That is why we’re delighted to be partnering with Swim England to ensure more people with mental health problems feel welcomed and supported to get active.

“We also look forward to working alongside Swim England, Sport England and other partners in the sector to promote the benefits of swimming for people with mental health problems through the We Are Undefeatable campaign.”

Helping athletes, members and volunteers

As part of Swim England’s focus on health and swimming, the team will be encouraging all Water Wellbeing sites to work with Mind to gain further insights and expertise in these areas.

Fact sheets, produced in conjunction with Mind, have also been published to offer expert advice and support for people with a mental health problem who might be thinking about swimming.

They include tips and advice on starting out, what to avoid and specific advice for coaches, clubs, operators and other professionals to make the aquatic experience a more positive one.

Mind will also be providing a service to current and former athletes, as well as all members and volunteers involved with Swim England.

Grant Robins, Swim England’s Head of Talent Swimming, said: “We have always worked closely with colleagues from British Swimming and the home nations to ensure there is a supportive network for athletes.

“Training schedules and competitions can put a strain on an athlete’s personal life and we have a responsibility to ensure they are supported in all areas.

“We are grateful that Mind is able to support us with this very important area of the Swim England Talent Programme.”

The We Are Undefeatable campaign, led by Sport England and Richmond Group of Charities, is also being supported by Swim England and Mind.

The organisations will challenge misconceptions around being active with mental health conditions and promote the opportunities available through swimming to spark behavioural change.

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