Skip to main content

Adventures helping people's recovery from psychosis

A new short film published by Improvement Cymru has highlighted the positive impact that adventure therapy is having on people experiencing psychosis.

From climbing mountains to stand up paddle boarding and exploring woodlands, adventures in the great outdoors are proving to be an effective intervention for supporting people’s recovery.

Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) services across NHS Wales are engaging with a national adventure therapy programme, which encourages people experiencing psychosis to participate in experience-based initiatives to improve their wellbeing and recovery.

The initiative has recently seen groups of people who are recovering from psychosis scale Pen y Fan, try stand up paddleboarding and head out into woodland.  

Participants have reported that taking on the outdoor challenges has helped them to rebuild their confidence, enjoy socialising, and feel that they’re taking steps towards recovery.

Andrea Gray, Mental Health Development Lead for Wales, Improvement Cymru, said: “As part of the routine care offer from EIP services in Wales, adventure therapy programmes support individuals to try out new experiences that offer opportunity for personal challenge but in safe and supported environments. Using outdoors spaces in this way has been shown to support recovery, moving the therapeutic interaction away from clinical settings. 

“Across Wales, adventure therapy initiatives are delivered at a local level and provide opportunity for social connection and engagement in activities that support improvements in motivation, confidence, and physical wellbeing.

“It’s fantastic to see these improvements really coming across in the people featured in the video, and we are looking forward to seeing more people benefit from engaging in adventure therapy moving forward.”

Psychosis is a mental health problem that causes people to experience or interpret things differently from those around them. It is most effectively treated at its onset.

As part of the national EIP work programme led by Improvement Cymru, EIP services across Wales help young people with a first episode of psychosis (FEP) in their recovery and to gain a good quality of life. Throughout the UK, services support more than 10,000 young people each year.

Discover how the challenge of adventure therapy is successfully supporting young people to recover from psychosis in this video.

You can find out more about EIP services on our EIP webpages.

For more information, please contact Michaela Morris, Programme Lead, or Katie Cole, Senior Improvement Manager,

Contact us

Get in touch. For contact details of our programme leads, see our Meet the Team page.

Sign up to our newsletter

Stay up to date with our ongoing work

Improvement Cymru YouTube channel

Our latest interviews, explainers, and masterclasses.

Read our latest blog

Blogs from our team and partners on the latest improvement work in Wales.