Sheffield students skateboarding their way to better mental well-being

Students from a society at the University of Sheffield are using their shared passion for skateboarding to help manage their mental health.

Thursday, 8th August 2019, 10:31 am
Updated Friday, 23rd August 2019, 10:15 am

Sheffield University Skateboarding Society is regularly attended by skateboarding enthusiasts but it has proven to have even more benefits for those who live with mental health issues.

Josh, one of the students said: “When I was about 16, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. So massive mood swings, depression. Whenever I was on a down, I just left like it wasn’t me.

“To a certain extent I do self medicate with skateboarding when I’m feeling depressed or down.

“My advice to anyone who’s young and has mental health issues. First off, try and talk to someone about it, but then if you don’t feel like you can do that, then definitely, skateboarding is a great escape. You’ll feel so much better, you’ll clear your head, and when you finally get that trick, you’ll feel so good about it.”

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Rose, another student, who has borderline personality disorder said: “When I skateboard I feel relaxed. You just forget about what you’re worrying about that day.

“It’s definitely helped me come out of my shell and be a lot less anxious because you’re in a group of people who are just welcoming and who all love doing the same thing.”

James, head of the society, explained: “We’re all united under this sort of need to use skateboarding as a way to better ourselves, in terms of our mental well-being.

“Skateboarding itself was inherently bred of people who were always outcasts. So it kind of unites people who are different.

“Skateboarding just kind of leaves behind all these expectations of what you should be or what you should do.”