Climbing to Wellbeing

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Invictus Wellbeing is a charity providing wellbeing and mental health support to children and young people in Calderdale, Bradford, and Kirklees.

They provide one-to-one and group interventions to young people who are referred to the service by external agencies or via self-referral. These interventions help young people to work through their issues in a safe and supportive environment, promoting positive change and developing coping strategies.

Over the last 12 months, Invictus have been working hard to embed physical activity into their service. They believe passionately that physical activity is a key intervention, and they are now beginning to see the benefits reflected through the young people they support.  

Climbing to Wellbeing

One such example is a 15-year-old transgender person who has been struggling with their mental health for several years. They have struggled with suicidal thoughts, self-harm and intrusive thoughts. Having changed their name in year 9, the young person struggled with friendships and their gender identity, problems compounded by not having any social interests, leaving them isolated.

Despite this, they were keen to be more active but felt insecure about their body image since becoming transgender. Long term, they aspire to participate in a team sport once they feel more comfortable in their own skin. As part of their intervention, Invictus Wellbeing offered a 4-week rock climbing project which the 15-year-old attended and really enjoyed.

They now climb weekly and have made friends from the group, socialising with them outside the climbing sessions. As a result, they have started to develop body confidence and are continuing with rock climbing to help build friendships. The young person also hopes that gaining strength and improving their physical health will help improve their sleep and mood.

The Invictus Way

The Invictus philosophy on physical activity is based on allowing people to take time for themselves. Finding time to do small amounts each day, even 10 minutes, will help with stress and keep you moving. Small changes every day help in the long run.

They also believe that everyone should have access to sports and activities throughout their normal week which can give people belonging, achievement and purpose which allows people to live happy, healthy and balanced lives.

Find out more about the collaborative work between Active Calderdale and Invictus Wellbeing on our blog -  Active Culture @ Invictus Wellbeing | Active Calderdale