UKSA’s recently announced Youth and Mental Health Ambassador Dee Caffari has shared her top five mental wellness tips ahead of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week (9-15 May 2022).

Published 03/05/2022
The Isle of Wight based charity and world-leading maritime training provider made Dee’s ambassador appointment earlier this year in a bid to raise awareness and find solutions to help young people. In particular those who have been affected by falling below the poverty line, having less time outdoors, school closures and reduced employment prospects.

As the first woman to have sailed single-handed and non-stop around the world in both directions and the only woman to have sailed non-stop around the world three times, Dee has not been a stranger to challenges both mentally and physically. Her top tips to help deal with mental wellness and resilience can be applied by everyone and all ages.

Dee’s top five tips that help her manage mental health and wellness:

  • Connect with other people

“Spending time with friends or family allows you to feel that connection, get that self esteem, sense of belonging and self worth.”

  • Be physically active

“Get outdoors, breathe in the fresh air and be active. You’ll feel better with yourself, releasing endorphins and life won’t seem so bad.”

  • Learn a new skill

“Challenge yourself and try something new or acquire a new skill. Then get even more enjoyment by showing off to all your friends and family. It’s also a great way to meet new people.”

  • Give to others

“Just giving a little back allows you to reap the rewards. What you give comes back to you in leaps and bounds eventually, so don’t be afraid to have that random act of kindness one day.”

  • Be present

“Be mindful and spend a little bit of time with yourself, truly get to know yourself and understand where you are. There’s nothing wrong with taking a bit of time and space.”

UKSA offers young people of all abilities activities where they can learn skills for life in an aspirational and safe environment. Its bespoke programmes are designed to build confidence and encourage teamwork using watersports and the great outdoors as a catalyst for positive outcomes.

It also offers its Sea.Change Foundation Programme which is specifically for 14-17 year olds and gives teenagers the opportunity to learn about training and careers in the maritime sector through a five-day residential trip in the school holidays. Youngsters from disadvantaged backgrounds are also offered the opportunity to build crucial life skills and make new friends through the programme. The charity offers funded places for Sea.Change to ensure everyone has the opportunity to experience what UKSA has to offer.

Ben Willows, CEO of UKSA said ahead of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week:

This year’s theme explores the experience of loneliness, its effect on our mental health and how we can all play a part in reducing loneliness in our communities. It is a key driver of poor mental health and UKSA’s programmes of activities and maritime training certainly tackle this for youngsters with the amount of teamwork involved, which ultimately then builds confidence and resilience. Dee’s tips provide great practical opportunities to help combat loneliness.

Useful links:

The Sea.Change Foundation Programme