LINK Talk - OCR, Fitness & Mental Health

Article by Liam Hayman

My own route into OCR stemmed from severe mental health issues and I feel that the benefits from participation in any sport, or just keeping fit generally, is reflected in our mental health. I have been both a service user and provider with LINK East Fife Adolescent Befriending Project and I also happen to know of a very good OCR athlete & personal trainer with an interest in the link between mental health and fitness, Louise Johnstone (Louises’s PT 4 U).

I managed to put Jane (LINK project manager) and Louise in touch and not long after, they had put their heads together and decided that Louise would be the next speaker at a LINK training event; ‘Impacts of Physical Health on Mental Health’.

I knew that Louise would have a big impact on the volunteers at LINK and I was right. As the talk progressed and Louise covered subjects including physical activity, nutrition and the importance of knowing when either is becoming too controlling, it was great to see the volunteers vocally relating their own experiences to the points that Louise was making. Every aspect that Louise covered resonated within the group and by the time the talk had ended, it was obvious that she had made the impact that I was hoping for.

It is important to remember how positive an impact OCR has on our lives, but more importantly, the ease with which it can take control. Competing in OCR and being healthy both physically and mentally are easy to take for granted. What we do is not a right, it is a privilege and we ought to make the most of it.