“Get moving,” is the message we are echoing, because exercise and mental health are linked. Studies point to evidence in children and adults that daily exercise can both prevent and treat mental health issues. Moreso throughout the world mental health professionals are working with community groups and sporting groups to promote an active lifestyle.
In August, we joined forces with Lanna Rehab, and sponsored the fifth annual Koh Chang Cricket Tournament.
Why cricket for mental health?
“A game of cricket brings many aspects of positive mental health to life,” says Martin Peters, program director, and avid cricket fan. We’re proud to sponsor the tournament because we see it as a way to create positive mental health. Many of our clients have their first encounter with drugs or alcohol when they are under 15 years old. If we can make a healthy impact on young lives, these kids are less likely to turn to drugs later.”
Martin says “mental health is linked to addiction. A healthy outlook on life means you’re more likely to be able to address the stresses of life when they do, inevitably, come. Having people around you who are a positive influence, offer support and routine can make a huge impact on someone life. Addiction is a very isolating experience. In contrast, the community you get through sports is the complete opposite.”
Martin is proud to have Lanna Rehab, now sponsoring the cricket team he has been playing with since he was 7 years old. He says “through sports, you can make friends for life. My experience with Praze Cricket Club is a perfect example of that.”
Sports isn’t always the answer but it does introduce a supportive framework into people’s lives. Martin says “if they do experience addiction in life, having a network of people around them, means they more likely to recover.”
The PCC boys in their new shirts sponsored by Lana Rehab #pcc #pcg #lannarehab
Batting for good mental health
- Getting enough sunlight increases our ability to concentrate and learn. This is scientifically supported. And no, it is not interchangeable with the blue light of laptop and phone screens.)
- Fresh air helps our bodies function better. Oxygen actually cleanses our blood.
- Rest is documented to help you think more clearly. You’re more likely to have a good night’s sleep if you’re physically tired.
“For me,” says Martin, “sports has always been an outlet from the day-to-day working life. You’re part of a group of people with a shared interest. There’s a real joy in going out on a Saturday and playing.”
More broadly Martin explains, “as well as connectivity, it teaches communication. For young boys, who will grow into young men, that’s a very important skill.”
How does DARA Rehab adapt exercise to recovery?
At DARA Rehab exercise is part of our daily schedule. Clients wake up and start their day with a choice of a range of activities from water meditation, a gym session, a walk (or run) to the beach or yoga.
“Every client has a dedicated personal trainer, so they aren’t in it alone. They have someone who is skilled, and who they can trust to push them and encourage them. Often when clients leave they are as connected to their trainer as they are to their therapist.”
“Some clients go through their lives without playing a team sport or exercising,” explains Martin. “It’s partly anxiety around not being good enough. They can have a mindset that they have to get fit to go to the gym, but at DARA Rehab they are in a safe space and they have a sense of community. That enables people to try new things – like swimming laps or kayaking. They can overcome fears or worries and just enjoy the moment. It’s wonderful to be part of that transformation in someone’s life.”