Mental Health Awareness Day

Findings from the Education Policy Institute (EPI) show a significant increase in the number of young persons referred for mental health treatment, in England.

Over the past five years, child and adolescent mental health service referrals have increased by 26%. This increase in referrals is a positive marker showing the help and support for mental health is growing and becoming increasingly more available to our youth, in our communities.

Despite an increase in funding from the government, more awareness and conversation around the topic, mental health is still a very poignant issue in young people.

At Swimtime one of our key values is social responsibility in communities. The mental health of our swimmers comes to the forefront when discussing this value. It is known that frequent activity and social interaction improves mental health and wellbeing.

These benefits come in the form of; increase in self-esteem and confidence in children which in turn increases serotonin levels (the happy hormone), it also increases focus and improves coordination, helpful for school and education but also daily life. Another benefit to both physical and mental health is the improvement of sleeping patterns which decreases cortisol levels which then makes way for serotonin to come, bringing all the benefits with it. This is also true for adults.

Let’s think! If we all stepped back and looked at our lives and thought to ourselves, what do I do to care for myself? Self-care should not be guilted and we should instil this in our youth. To think what steps, we can take to improve our own situation, whether that be taking a quick break to read a book, relax listening to some music, a half mile walk on a lunchtime/ evening or even half a mile swim (which so you know is 32 lengths).

It’s said that swimming is one of the most effective ways to increase serotonin levels in the brain! So why not do more of it! It’s a brilliant form of exercise, using multiple muscles across the body increases oxygen levels to the brain, further increasing dopamine levels.

Adding something small like these to your routine can have a huge and positive knock-on effect which may not only affect you but those around you; your children, family, friends and colleagues.