Search

Londoner backs #LoveSwimming mental health campaign

PUBLISHED: 10:00 08 October 2018

Stepney resident Sylvia is backing a national campaign to get more people swimming to help with their mental health

Stepney resident Sylvia is backing a national campaign to get more people swimming to help with their mental health

Archant

A Stepney woman has given her support to a national campaign highlighting the benefits of swimming for mental health.

Sylvia suffered severe burns after an accident as a child and struggled with anxiety, depression and PTSD for much of her teen and early adult years.

But since accepting the way she looks and to regain confidence, she has set up fortnightly swim groups for others with body disfigurement.

“It’s fantastic to have been asked to be part of the campaign and share the importance swimming has had on my mental wellbeing,” she said.

“I was a competitive swimmer for many years but lacked body confidence due to my scars. I would hold back in competitions so as not to be seen on the rostrum receiving medals but once I was in the water, all of my self-hating disappeared.

“The effects of swimming are limitless. Besides health and fitness benefits, I believe that swimming was the only thing in my life that I truly loved. My mental health went downhill when I stopped swimming but as soon as I was back in the pool, I was at my happiest.”

Sylvia’s story is part of a wider campaign by Swim England and 12 partners. The governing body, as part of the #LoveSwimming campaign, released the results of a new poll which highlights swimming as a key activity in aiding mental wellbeing.

Up to 1.4 million British adults believe swimming significantly reduced symptoms of anxiety and/or depression, while almost half a million with mental health problems who swim say they have reduced the number of visits to a medical professional regarding their mental health condition thanks to swimming.

Over 497,000 people reduced or no longer take medication for their mental health condition as a result of swimming.

Elaine McNish, head of health and wellbeing at Swim England said: “A lot of people have concerns about discussing mental health issues. Having the support of Sylvia is fantastic. By sharing her experience, she hopes to inspire others to try swimming to help their mental wellness.”

Hayley Jarvis, head of physical activity for mental health charity Mind, added: “We know physical activities like swimming is good for our bodies, but our physical and mental health are closely linked and we know from our own Get Set to Go programme that being physically active can also be very beneficial for our mental health too.

“If you’re more active there’s good evidence to suggest that at most ages, there’s a trend towards lower rates of depression. In fact, one study has found that by increasing your activity levels from doing nothing, to exercising at least three times a week, you can reduce your risk of depression by up to 30 per cent.”

To find out more about swimming facilities near you, visit swimming.org/poolfinder #LoveSwimming.

Latest Kilburn & Brent Stories

Yesterday, 18:53

Hendon fell to a fourth away defeat in their last five matches on the road after another disappointing display saw them beaten by two Basingstoke Town goals in the space of three first-half minutes.

Yesterday, 09:15

Harrow saw three players sent off in the first half of their match with the leaders and conceded five times after the restart on a day to forget in Somerset.

Yesterday, 08:00

Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Times’ readers this week.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

In a match that was open for both sides, neither team seized the opportunity and took a point apiece at Clarence Park.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Queens Park Rangers manager Steve McClaren claimed referee Peter Bankes cost his side a result after awarding Leeds a penalty which Kemar Roofe converted to give United a 2-1 comeback win at Elland Road.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Sky Bet Championship: Leeds United 2 Queens Park Rangers 1

I was recently in North Kensington, just over Brent’s boundary, with the Grenfell Health & Wellbeing Service; I am lead governor at Central & North West London NHS Foundation Trust, which runs it, and saw it close up.

Friday, December 7, 2018

The Carlton Tavern could be reopened in April, nine months after the planning inspectorate told them to rebuild it.

PROMOTED CONTENT

A new community centre, The Yellow, opens in Wembley Park in the heart of the Brent community. From October 1, the hub will offer a selection of arts and fitness classes, many of which will be free.

The Granville has begun taking bookings for workspaces and events ahead of its opening this spring.

Brent Clinical Commissioning Group has announced changes to the community’s cardiology service.

Newsletter Sign Up

Kilburn Times twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Kilburn sport

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Brent & Kilburn Times
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now