A group of nine young people recovering from psychosis will crew a sailing boat from Peterhead to Hartlepool.
Their six-day trip is part of The Voyage to Recovery project, a form of adventure therapy run in partnership with Cirdan Sailing Trust.
The project aims to support people recovering from mental illness by providing an alternative environment for people to learn new skills, grow in confidence and build relationships.
The young people will be joined by five staff members from the Early Intervention and Psychosis (EIP) service at Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (CNTW), a provider of mental health and learning disability services.
The EIP service provides treatment for people who are experiencing a first episode of psychosis.
There is still a huge stigma around mental illness so this is an opportunity to show what young people recovering from psychosis can achieve when given the chance.Terry HaleySenior peer supporter, CNTW
Terry Haley, a senior peer supporter in the EIP service, is part of the sailing crew.
Terry says: “I feel really privileged to be part of this voyage and I can’t wait for it to begin.
“There is still a huge stigma around mental illness so this is an opportunity to show what young people recovering from psychosis can achieve when given the chance. I also think the voyage is a great way of demonstrating that not all mental health work needs to be done in a clinical setting.
“Our young people have already gained a lot from the team building activities we’ve been doing together to prepare for the trip.
“When the whole crew got together for the first time, most of the group were quite reserved. But after our first session in an escape room, friendships developed quickly and now there is a great atmosphere amongst the crew and everyone is really excited about the voyage.”
The team from CNTW, along with three professional crew members, will board The Faramir in Peterhead on the north east coast of Scotland on the 11 June and expect to arrive in Hartlepool on 16 June.
The team will spend the full six days at sea, eating and sleep on the 73ft sailing boat.
Their journey is one of eights trips planned around the British Isles as part of The Voyage to Recovery project.