An NHS health board has set up mountain bike trails to support the mental health of a group of patients.
NHS Lanarkshire staff have launched the Trail Therapy Project to encourage people to tackle stimulating challenges in the area.
The bike group was developed by mental health nursing and occupational therapy staff in partnership with Scottish Cycling.
So far it has inspired a number of patients to take up the sport to improve their mental health.
Kevin Jamieson, occupational therapist at NHS Lanarkshire, told STV News: “Throughout the whole pandemic we have been riding for two years, they turn up every week and they leave with a big smile on their face.
“People take ownership, they buy their own bikes, they maintain their own bikes, they set goals, and they talk about physical fitness and wellbeing and feeling much more confident in achieving their goals.”
The scheme aims to help participating patients build their cycling skills and confidence, alongside mountain biking, there is also the opportunity to learn how to repair and maintain their bikes.
James, a NHS Lanarkshire patient, said: “On a Monday we mend the bikes and on a Friday we go out and ride at Chatellerault House – it makes you feel really good, it’s a bit of an adrenaline rush, it helps with my fitness and gives me more confidence as the weeks go by, it keeps my occupied and I really enjoy it as well.”
One patient is now fully trained as a leader within the programme, along with six staff members who have completed their Mountain Bike Leadership Training.
Mr Jamieson added: “It’s incredibly satisfying and gratifying particularly when they become leaders themselves, it becomes nothing to do with mental health, nothing to do with being a patient, it becomes about real life and that is a huge element of it for me.”