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 East London Sports News

Yesterday, 16:00

Leyton Orient head coach Ross Embleton has revealed striker Lee Angol would have taken the penalty against Crewe Alexandra had he not come off injured in the 2-1 defeat.

Yesterday, 12:00

Leyton Orient winger Louis Dennis praised loanee midfielder George Marsh for his impact in their 2-2 draw with Exeter City at the weekend as well as in their 2-1 defeat to Crewe Alexandra.

Wed, 19:39

Essex captain Ryan ten Doeschate admitted it felt good to be back at the top of the County Championship table after their innings & 40-run win over Surrey.

Wed, 18:21

Simon Harmer spun Essex to the brink of the Specsavers County Championship title with seven wickets as reigning champions Surrey were despatched by an innings at Chelmsford.

Wed, 16:00

Leyton Orient goalkeeper Dean Brill insists they must find a way to put it right after falling to a late defeat against Crewe Alexandra.

Wed, 10:00

Leyton Orient head coach Ross Embleton says the time has come for everyone to stop feeling sorry for his side after suffering yet another late goal against Crewe Alexandra.

League Two: Leyton Orient 1 Crewe Alexandra 2

Tue, 19:01

Dan Lawrence crafted his first Specsavers County Championship century of the season to put Essex in a strong position as the race for the title heads for its dramatic denouement.

PROMOTED CONTENT

It's now just under a month since All Points East took over Victoria Park with two weekends of world-class music and a programme of free community events.

Curated by AEG Presents, All Points East is bringing an impressive line-up of multi-flavoured music to Victoria Park from May 24-26 and May 31-June 2.

Victoria Park - or 'Vicky Park' as the locals know it - has been the setting for many important events over the years.​ Here, we take a look at its unique cultural history.

Newsletter Sign Up

East London Advertiser twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read sport

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Most Read

Latest from the East London Advertiser

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists