Sailing and the benefits for mental health

Tamara Jean, a domestic abuse survivor and solo sailor with big dreams to sail round the world, believes that sailing can really help with mental health.

She’s experienced the effect that sailing has on mental health first-hand, and wants to bring that opportunity to other people that have experienced hardship and mental health struggles, starting with other victims of domestic abuse.

On her mental health as a child and how that changed during her marriage, Tamara says, “I had a great childhood, my mental health was completely intact. I grew up, got married and had four kids in five years.

I realised I was being controlled, lied to, manipulated and when I asked for a divorce he blew up and the mask came off completely.

Then after all the drama, the trauma and the domestic abuse, I ended up with PTSD.”

“I would recommend sailing to anyone going through mental health issues.

The experience clears your mind more than everything, you have to troubleshoot every problem and everything else dissolves away.” said Tamara, about how sailing has helped her.

“Sailing on my own I have to be the captain, the mechanic, the engineer.

There are other ways to experience the same therapeutic connection to nature though, through gardening or exercise, sailing is just what I choose.”

See an excerpt of my interview with Tamara here^

“You have to be grounded before you can be balanced and work on yourself,” she said.

There is a lot of science based evidence to support the idea that sailing is beneficial to mental health, and charities such as The Rona Sailing Project, Sea Sanctuary and Turn To Starboard work to provide adults and young people struggling with mental health here in the UK with sailing therapy.

You can learn more about Tamara’s story, her experience of domestic abuse and parental alienation on her website.

Please note- this interview and the quotes featured may have been edited for clarity and greater understanding.