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Social enterprise promotes tackling female mental health issues with sport

Diazepam packet

A social enterprise is running an event in Pontcanna focussing on how women with mental health issues can be ‘saved by sport’

Pack of Diazepam
Prescribed medication is not the only method to treat mental health issues

Social enterprise Letzshare is running an event in Pontcanna this month to highlight how women with mental health issues can use sport to aid their recovery.

She Talks: Saved by Sport will feature three speakers, each sharing their story of how exercise has aided their mental wellbeing. 

Letzshare say the event is aimed at women who have struggled, or know someone struggling with their mental health and who would like to know more about how sport can help and why it is so important.

Mental health is widely acknowledged to be a growing problem for Wales, costing the Welsh government an estimated £7.2bn a year

Alternative treatments, like physical activity, are therefore being evaluated for their use in certain cases instead of prescribed medication.

While some studies have questioned the effectiveness of exercise in illnesses such as depression, there is still extended debate on both sides. 

There is also a wide range of other mental health issues for which exercise may be beneficial.

Girls playing football on a pitch
According to Mind Cymru, group activities can “improve self esteem and reduce loneliness” (Photo courtesy of Jeffrey F Lin via Unsplash)

Luke Merlini, senior media officer at Mind Cymru, said: “Exercise releases ‘feel good’ hormones called endorphins and reduces levels of cortisol, the ‘stress hormone’, which has been linked to a range of mental health problems, including depression and anxiety.

“Participating in activities outside with others can also help improve our self-esteem and reduce loneliness,” he added. 

Saved by Sport will address how sport has helped individuals who have suffered from varying conditions.

Gemma Price, founder of Boxing Pretty, will talk about surviving an emotionally abusive relationship; Francesca Irving, founder of Lunax Digital, will discuss fighting her depression using gymnastics; and Sarah Wakefield, who organises guided mountain bike rides, will speak about how biking saved her from postnatal depression.

Cafe where the event to tackle mental health issues will feature
Saved by Sport will take place on 14 November at the Kin + Ilk cafe, Pontcanna

Starting at 7pm, there will be time dedicated to prosecco and networking, followed by guest speakers and a Q&A. 

The event will take place on 14 November. Tickets are available through the event page and cost £15.

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