Walking back to happiness
After living with mental health issues that left him feeling isolated and depressed for 15 years, David has transformed his life through the Reach Out Project walking group in Aberdeen.
The project was established in 1988, growing out of the WEA’s experience in courses for long term unemployed. It includes a rich programme of learning activities for some of the most vulnerable people in Aberdeen.
David now walks with or without the group to help him combat his mental health problems and believes that getting out in nature may be exactly what we need to feel overcome mental health battles. Given that exercise and social interaction are both natural mood-boosters, David is a great example of the impact of both of these combined.
"I used to feel the world was a big bad place – nobody was worth bothering with and nobody bothered with me. Being with the WEA and tutors helped a lot. Soon I was feeling more human and more of an adult: instead of being put down, I felt more confident to start mixing with people again.
“Walking in the woods, seeing nature and meeting people is far more beneficial to your mental health than sitting in the house, looking out of the window and locking yourself away.
“These days, I take regular walks instead of taking lots of anti-depressants. Getting out in nature is exactly what we need to feel happy and healthy.”