How a personal fitness trainer course helped Steven's mental health
There is no one right way to tackle mental health problems; different people find that different things work for them. Steven suffered in silence for a long time before opening up and seeking help. Part of his chosen road to recovery involved enrolling on a distance learning course with Open Study College. Read on to find out how studying helped Steven.
"I’ve been suffering with my mental health for around 4 years but didn’t realise how bad it was until the beginning of this year. I had lost interest in everything; I didn’t want to socialise and lost contact with most of my friends. I often didn’t even want to get out of bed.
In March I started opening up to my family about my struggles, and also made an appointment with my doctor. Sharing the way I was feeling helped me to start clearing my mind. I also got in touch with Healthy Minds, which is an NHS initiative offering advice and information.
I enrolled on a course with Open Study College to give me a focal point to concentrate on...
...something to occupy my mind and work towards. I found that it really helped me. Even on days where I didn’t feel like studying, I would force myself to do at least a little, and I’d feel 10 times better afterwards.
I chose the Personal Fitness Trainer level 3 course as it was a subject I felt connected to. I have had an interest in the gym, working out and nutrition for a while, and I’d also spent time with a personal trainer who helped and inspired me. Being able to study through distance learning was perfect for me; especially with my mental health issues. I didn’t have to mix with other people or leave the house, which was perfect when I was having a bad day. I could also choose to study more on good days when I felt able to.
My studies have given me a focus throughout a difficult time...
...and helped me to strengthen my mental health during the process. With each unit I passed I developed more confidence and felt a sense of happiness and achievement.
Now I’ve successfully completed the course I’m planning further study to develop my knowledge in order to move forward towards becoming a personal trainer. I felt the positive effects that exercising had on my own physical and mental wellbeing, and I’d like to help others achieve that same feeling. I believe that my own personal experiences with anxiety, stress and depression will benefit me in my career. I want people to know that it’s ok to not be ok, and to be a role model for those who can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. I used to feel like that but now, thanks to Open Study College, I’m looking forward to a bright future."
Thanks to Steven for sharing his story.
If you're suffering from mental health problems, do reach out for help and support. Speak to friends and family if you feel able to.
For professional support, the following organisations can help: