A ground-breaking study which could lead to GPs prescribing angling to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has appealed to military veterans to help its research.
The University of Essex project wants former servicemen and women to explore the potential health benefits of angling.
Academics hope to help develop new treatments for people struggling with their mental health.
The “Angling for Good” scheme is free.
The study, led by the department of psychology and non-profit organisation iCarp, will build on previous research that showed how angling can ease the strains of PTSD.
Dr Nick Cooper, lead researcher, said: “This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to help improve the lives of anyone who struggles with PTSD or other complicated mental health conditions.
“We believe angling can offer a real lifeline to those in desperate need.”
Dr Cooper hopes GPs will one day be able to prescribe fishing as a treatment as early research had already shown the popular pastime can make “a real difference.”
PTSD is an anxiety disorder caused by very stressful, frightening or distressing events.
Certain triggers can make people feel under threat, whilst sparking vivid flashbacks that can blight relationships and everyday life.
All veterans are welcome to take part in the university’s study, regardless of formal PTSD diagnosis, gender, disability or age.
The study will take place during a single weekend at the project’s new homes at nature reserve in Harwich and will include an overnight camp, with all equipment provided.
The research will take place at iCarp’s new home in a nature reserve near Harwich, Essex.
Anyone wanting more information should contact Dr Cooper directly or iCarp.