Angling’s health revolution!

From beating the blues to promoting recovery from illness, “fishing therapy” is a massive growth area. Here are some of the many projects and health conditions tackled by your favourite sport...

Angling's health revolution!

by Angling Times |

MANY of us have long known that angling boosts wellbeing, and that concept is now being given expert backing right across the country.

In what could be a game-changing era, health professionals and angling brains are joining forces to tackle a huge range of health conditions.

Looking at the sheer variety of current active projects, the bigger picture is mind-blowing. Whether it’s clinical depression or cancer recovery, delivered to school kids or military veterans, angling is finding endless ways to boost its wellbeing credentials. But is this just a current trend, or the start of something much bigger?

‘Get fishing for wellbeing’ launches

Keen to see fishing promoted as a doorway to wellbeing since its inception, the Angling Trust has recently launched its own ‘Get Fishing for Wellbeing’ scheme. The idea is to reach out to professionals, such as link workers and NHS professionals, to promote fishing as a therapeutic activity.

“We’ve started a new process whereby angling clubs and organisations can become ‘Get Fishing for Wellbeing’ approved partners,” said the Trust’s angling development manager, Dean Asplin.

“There’s a dedicated new section of our website where we’ll champion these groups to the medical network as being safe and professional places to send socially prescribed individuals.

“Angling has substantially helped my own mental health in recent years, so I’m excited by this project,” he added.

“We want as many people as possible to access the amazing benefits of angling.”

More info can be found at: anglingtrust.net/getfishing/getfishingforwellbeing

A whole world of social positives…

The scope of fishing-related therapies could be huge in future, everything from addressing conditions such as depression and anxiety, to assisiting those in our communities who are socially isolated, or have long-term conditions that affect their daily lives.

Covid has no doubt boosted the appeal of fishing, but angling’s extension into national health solutions shows no signs of a let-up. Besides being affordable and accessible, of course, fishing also has the advantage that there’s a style to suit every individual, regardless of their age, background or physical ability. Furthermore, fishing perfectly fits in with the national drive to seek alternatives to expensive courses of therapy and medication.

Indeed, where the sport reaches next is limited only by our imagination! Beyond health issues, social concerns are also firmly on the radar – whether it’s homelessness, loneliness or antisocial behaviour. So watch this space for more positive news and great projects that we can all get behind.

The Angling Trust has recently launched its own ‘Get Fishing for Wellbeing’ scheme
The Angling Trust has recently launched its own ‘Get Fishing for Wellbeing’ scheme

Fishing for wellbeing: a snapshot of groups making a difference

Tackling mental health head on!

Tackling Minds helps with issues including depression, bereavement and addiction. “Many of the anglers claim that if it wasn’t for fishing they don’t think they’d be here to tell their story,” says founder David Lyons. The project has already gained national media coverage, while its angling converts are sharing their new skills and experience to help others. See tacklingminds.org for more info.

Carp angling vs PTSD

i-Carp uses angling to help ex-military veterans deal with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). Founders Mark Wheeler and Nick Cooper aren’t just keen anglers either, both having PHDs and direct experience in psychology and therapeutic practice. They’ve already helped more than 100 veterans find healing via sessions on the bank.

Visit www.icarp.org.uk to learn more.

Casting for Recovery and South West Fishing for Life both use game fishing as a key tool for those rebuilding their lives after surviving breast cancer
Casting for Recovery and South West Fishing for Life both use game fishing as a key tool for those rebuilding their lives after surviving breast cancer

Fly fishing for cancer recovery

Casting for Recovery and South West Fishing for Life both use game fishing as a key tool for those rebuilding their lives after surviving breast cancer. Providing gentle exercise and finding new friendships has worked wonders for countless women. Find out more or donate at castingforrecovery.org and

www.southwestfishingforlife.org.uk

Grass roots clubs and wellbeing sessions

Aside from all the dedicated therapeutic organisations, many angling clubs are delivering special sessions for their communities. Bathampton AA now runs dedicated sessions for those referred by the NHS. Meanwhile, in the North, Easington DAA runs evening wellbeing sessions, while Ramsbottom AA hosts similar sessions with Angling Trust coaches in attendance to help the likes of Parkinson’s Disease sufferers and the socially isolated.

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