The trails of Glentress, Scotland have been used to test pilot a new mountain bike scheme to support mental health patients in the UK.
The BBC reports that the programme, run by Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland (DMBinS) with Scottish Borders Health and Social Care Partnership's Galashiels Resource Centre and Edinburgh Napier University, saw a six-week pilot course take place between August and September 2018.
This six-week pilot programme used the sport as part of a "therapeutic recovery programme", it saw 10 participants travel from across the Borders to use the trails at Glentress near Peebles. It's something I'm sure you and I can all vouch for immediately but the success of the project will be evaluated by mental health experts and could be rolled out elsewhere.
The riders rode weekly throughout the 6 week period with bike and kit provided by Alpine Bikes store at Glentress, they were led by qualified leaders from DMBinS out on the world class trails near Peebles.
Graeme McLean, DMBinS project manager, said it had been an "amazing pilot" to be involved with. He also said the group wanted to understand if mountain biking could aid recovery from a period of mental health problems and then take any lessons learned across Scotland.
Robert McCulloch-Graham, chief officer health and social integration for the partnership, said the project "certainly seemed to have been one of the best-attended programmes the partnership has delivered with staff reporting an exceptional response from everyone taking part."
"Not only did they find it useful to be able to work with participants in a real life setting, they were also able to observe some genuine progress being made in terms of personal resilience, self-efficacy, social skills and confidence."
The group are looking into the impact of the programme to see how it could be "developed, improved and escalated into the future".
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