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A mental health trust hospital in Manchester has prescribed fishing to treat anxiety and depression for the first time in the country

Anxiety and depression have become a widespread global issue these days. With the pandemic hitting our globe, the numbers have significantly increased. Statistics reveal that in the UK, one in six people suffers from anxiety and depression every week.

While these numbers are enormous, there are different ways available to deal with depression. As such, a hospital trust in Manchester has become the first to prescribe angling to people suffering from depression and anxiety.

The Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust has partnered with a fishing social group, “Tackling Minds,” to pilot the new programme.

The initiative will help people suffering from mental health problems by providing them an opportunity to fish instead of taking antidepressants and other medication.

The organizers at Tackling Minds hope that NHS would extend the prescription nationwide in the future as part of its social prescribing initiative.

Social prescribing (also known as community referral) enables health professionals to refer people to various non-clinical activities. Health professionals may be GPs, nurses, or other people working in the health sector.

According to Dom Garnett, a member of the Angling Trust, the benefits of fishing for people battling anxiety and depression will be twofold. If it is someone who gets anxious around crowds, they can practice angling as a solitary activity. For others, it can be a social activity.

David Lyons, the founder of Tackling Minds, started the group after battling with anxiety disorder and alcohol addiction for years. He stated that the idea behind the group came when he returned to fishing after fifteen years. He is a very passionate angler.

Fishing can help you with anxiety and depression. Read the complete article to learn more about this!

GPs, nurses, and other health care professionals can now prescribe angling instead of antidepressants.

It is hoped the time with nature, quiet reflection, meeting new people, and learning a new skill could help people battling anything from addiction to anxiety.

David Lyons, 37, who founded not-for-profit Tackling Minds after battling with alcohol addiction and anxiety disorder, said: “I’m so passionate about it.”

“Therapy is about speaking to someone once a week, but fishing fills the void by keeping your mind occupied.

“When you’re not on the water you’re setting goals, watching videos, reading magazines, and thinking over your last session.”

David says this is the first time fishing has been added as an official option for health care professionals including GPs, occupational therapists, psychiatrists and psychologists, and can be prescribed instead of or alongside antidepressants and anxiety medications.

The fish are released after they have been caught.

David said: “At the moment we are concentrating on the local area, but we plan to expand.

Authors: Kate Pounds and Charlotte Dobson

The original article is available for reading at the following link: