Therapeutic fishing

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Leaving aside the extent to which leisure/recreational/cultural issues should be badged as ‘therapeutic’… this sounds like a wonderful experience for patients, and staff. Fintastic. OMC, there was no plaice for carping that day!

Anyway, here’s the piece from the excellent (see – I didn’t go angling for a quick laugh with that one)

Mental health patients offered fishing therapy


Two hospitals in Scotland are offering their patients a chance to go fishing in the hope that it will be therapeutic.

The sport, which is known to have a calming effect on people, is being undertaken by patients being treated in Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

Some staff members from two mental health hospitals, Leverndale and Dykebar, already enjoy the benefits of fishing as a hobby.

The idea to use it as a form of therapy was devised by nursing assistant John Kelly, from Leverndale, and David Potter and Mark Aitchison, nursing assistants from Dykebar.

By taking the patients to a relaxed environment, they hoped it would have a calming effect as well as tackle the stigma that some of them face.

Mr Kelly said: “We all find angling extremely therapeutic and thought that some of our patients would really benefit from it.

“We work with patients who have enduring mental health problems and long-term life limiting conditions and we wanted to do something for them that would improve their quality of life and provide a change to their everyday routine.

“We had brilliant feedback from our managers, who were quick to help us establish a plan – the results have surpassed all our hopes.”

Staff take the patients to the fishery, the New Haylie Loch in Largs, in small groups once a week.



Readers’ comments (1)


    This is something that is regularly promoted for military veterans who suffer from PTSD. Often it is better done in small groups to begin with as going straight to fishing alone can be overwhelming. Hope to see this introduced to many more areas.

    Also if done by the sea or in areas where the catch can be kept it is a good way of providing cheap and nutrious food to a diet.


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