Tracey sets new course for people with mental health and addiction problems

Limerick Mental Health Association manager Tracey Corbett Lynch

THE sister of Limerick murder victim Jason Corbett is steering a new course, offering people the opportunity to sail through the choppy waters of poor mental health and addiction.

Tracey Corbett Lynch, whose brother was beaten to death in North Carolina six years ago, is manager of the Limerick Mental Health Association (LMHA), which has partnered with Sailing into Wellness (SIW) in a very unusual initiative.

The course will include groups of ten people who will set sail on board the vessel, Ilen, out of Foynes Port in May and June.

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It is aimed at organisations working with clients in recovery and young people at risk, particularly people in marginalised communities.

Ms Lynch who continues to navigate her own journey through bereavement and grief following the loss of her brother, said the LMHA was very excited about the potential for the Sailing into Wellness programme, which makes recovery about living.

“It’s said that the cure for anything is saltwater, whether that comes in the form of sweat, tears or the sea.  We are all equal at sea, together we face the same challenges, the combination of this and treating people with respect provides a powerful environment for change.”

“The benefits go far beyond those of learning sailing. We help to build the life skills which are lost in poor mental health, such as communication, self -confidence, resilience, self-esteem and being part of a team.

“It’s been proven that even being close to the sea stimulates the production of serotonin and dopamine, which is good for mental health,” Ms Lynch said.

Colin Healy, co-founder of SIW, described the sailing course as “an educational and therapeutic activity where we support our participants to overcome both physical and mental challenges in an environment that is both exhilarating and therapeutic”.

“We will take the participants out of their normal environment and into one which inspires and challenges. We are fortunate that this programme is part funded by the National Lottery which enables us to run a program on the sailing ship Ilen out of Foynes Yacht Club this year. We are fully insured, and all staff are Garda vetted.”

“We can have ten clients on board plus our crew under Level 5 restrictions and we have a full set of Covid protocols in place,” Mr. Healy explained.

Bookings and deposits, which will accepted on a first come first served basis, can be made by emailing [email protected]