/ Website to raise awareness for depression through climbing.

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spacecadetjake - on 29 Dec 2013
Hi my name's Jake

I've started a website to try and raise awareness for mental health issues through climbing.


My aim is to help get people outdoors climbing or just enjoying life.I'm funding it myself and doing all the site stuff in my limited spare time. I just wondered if people on UKC could visit the site and have a good read? I really need as much exposure and help in order for this to work.

If anyone feels they have anything to offer for a good cause that would be cool. I need help with website stuff, if anyone could offer a little free instruction for any new would be climbers that would be amazing. I have a friend at The Castle in London who is willing to help people volunteer in the garden to earn climbing credits. So anything goes really.Maybe you work in mental health and can help? Basically I need help in all areas as I have no idea what I'm doing but I'm committed to the cause.

If you only visit the site or like the Climb Out Facebook page below that would be of great help.


If anyone feels they can help you can email me at jakemcmanus@climbout.co.uk or leave a message on the Climb Out Facebook page.
Thanks for your time
JayPee630 - on 29 Dec 2013
In reply to spacecadetjake:

Good luck, brilliant project. Will pass on to friends.
spacecadetjake - on 29 Dec 2013
In reply to JayPee630:
Thanks for that ... Climb Out has Tom Randall supporting the cause now.
Post edited at 18:09
hun - on 30 Dec 2013
In reply to spacecadetjake:

Sorry but you got the wrong end of the stick.
Climbing makes you depressed. I should know. Been climbing most of my life and there's huge pressure from the whole climbing industry and community to "go big or go home".

If you want to climb at a half decent standard that is...
We compare ourselves to young athletes, with no families, careers and mortgages and aim to do the same things they do with the added pressure of work, and all the above.
We press on after work and train. We keep ourselves in the zone to climb hard.

And one day we find that we are exhausted beyond belief, on anidepressants with a wreck of a marriage/relationship.

When I climbed my best I lived in a tent for a year, without caring much about the rest of the world.

I would advise that you exercise extreme caution when introducing depressed people to climbing... Although I recognise that physical exercise is possibly the best way to cure/alleviate symptoms, you are exposing people to an environment where there's much competition, peer pressure, and most importantly mental pressure so their depression is likely to deepen.
spacecadetjake - on 30 Dec 2013
In reply to hun:

Hi I'm sorry that you've had problems with everything but I'm not sure you can attribute all of your problems to climbing. I would say that a "go big or go home" could be found in any walk of life. Working in an office, working in construction and particularly if you intend to be a professional or there abouts in any field.

I would say the "half decent standard" attitude really sums this up.
What is half decent? I have led 6B sport after only a short while is this half decent? I climb with close friends who climb E4 - E5, 8A sport is this half decent? My friends are also mostly 16yrs younger than me with no ties but we still climb together and have fun and yes push ourselves. I don't compare myself to them and I'm sure they don't compare themselves to pro climbers. It's all relative to your ability in my eyes, if I push myself to my limit I'm no less a person than any pro climber.

I would have to disagree about keeping people with depression away from challenges. Modern day society in itself is a huge challenge, we need to face these challenges and overcome them. Climbing can teach more about ourselves than we knew. You must have overcome grades you thought that you never would? This can translate into normal life, we can perform better than our subconscious will allow us to most of the time.

I do have a mental health professional behind me and I am seeking more. I am taking this seriously.

Thank you for your words and I hope things get better for you. Maybe try not to compare yourself with others too much.
Jackwd - on 30 Dec 2013
In reply to hun:

Completely disagree with you. Getting out climbing was one of the best things I ever did when I was diagnosed as depressed. You meet like minded people and develop great friendships which in turn gives you a support network. I think you maybe have a different mindset towards climbing than a lot of people I know. Climbing should be a personal challenge to yourself, not you against others. That's the beauty of it.

Shared this page with friends via Facebook, hope all goes well for you in the New Year.
spacecadetjake - on 31 Dec 2013
In reply to Jackwd:

Thanks for the positive reply ... 2014 should be a good year. I have big plans but if climbing has only taught me 1 thing it's that the impossible can be made possible with hard work and commitment
Landy_Dom on 31 Dec 2013
In reply to spacecadetjake:

Good on you Jake. I've liked your facebook group and passed in on to my climbing friends. Keep up the good work and hope to climb with you some day. Dom.
spacecadetjake - on 31 Dec 2013
In reply to Landy_Dom:

Well Dom ... funnily enough I like the odd climb ... email me jakemcmanus@climbout.co.uk
puppythedog on 31 Dec 2013
In reply to spacecadetjake:

I think this is a great idea, good luck with it. It may be worth talking to MIND to see if they can help you develope your project (if you think it needs to develope).


spacecadetjake - on 31 Dec 2013
In reply to puppythedog:

Thanks James I will do that, I need all the help I can get with this. Thanks for the idea.

muppetfilter - on 31 Dec 2013
In reply to hun:
Climbing is an activity of laughter, exercise, fear, frustration, thought, Sun/rain, Warm/Cold, failure, success and many many other things.

If it approached in the right way it certainly has the potential to allow someone to change the way they feel and offer the chance to experience things that could offer the glimpse of something else that life can be.
Post edited at 14:27
mrdigitaljedi - on 31 Dec 2013
In reply to hun:

Hi, as a depressed person of over 20yrs myself, i find climbing a way to leave it behind me, to give me something to look forward to, to plan to dream of the next route and where it will take me.

As for "go big or go home", i disagree i dont climb above S lead but am getting better, but i have alot of fun being challenge by VDiffs/HVDiffs and thats the point, climbing is about having fun, laughin with others, being frustrated by cruxs, and taking 1s mind away from the illness.


Wookster - on 01 Jan 2014
In reply to spacecadetjake:
I am not a medical professional, but have a wife who suffers. I did also have a bout of work related stress a few years ago.
Whilst I stopped climbing years ago, ( I want to get back into it but ......)
I found that any form of physical exercise aided my mental state. If and when I can get the wife motivated to get to the top of a decent peak then she is noticeably different. I think it should be prescribed.
Years ago, I heard a quote about needing to feel scared to feel alive. I tried to search for it and found this and a number of other sites
Adrenaline is such a powerful drug, and maybe thats why some people do what they do, from Base jumping, to burglary.
Climbing has that buzz, and usually pretty safe. Yes people want to go big, but thats up to them. Even they have limitations, so they should and usually do accept others have lesser abilities.
OK, I just decided my New Years resolution is to start again, but Trad only and probably V Diff ;)

Great job and keep up the good work and hope you get a load of support.
Post edited at 23:12
Rhi Rhi - on 02 Jan 2014
In reply to spacecadetjake:
This is really good Jake!
I am a climber in my spare time and absolutely love it but professionally I am a Speech and language therapist. I obviously work in a variety of settings and the area of mental health is becoming a larger part of our role in SLT. Sorry for the shameful plug here but speech therapy isn't about "helping people talk better"...we use our training to allow individuals with mental health difficulties express their feelings in a way they are able to access whether it be through pictures, symbols, drawing, sign language etc. as changes in communication skills, social skills, and swallowing patterns are features of mental health problems.
In terms of what I do now, I currently work with individuals with brain injury and am using climbing as a way for one particular individual to allow him to access and re-learn about socialisation and increase his confidence through this activity.

I guess what I am saying is that I believe climbing can be a great way to help people deal with/help with their difficulties, I just wanted to express my complete support for you and am looking forward to hearing what 2014 will bring for you and your project.

Post edited at 16:33
Urgles on 03 Jan 2014
In reply to hun:

I couldn't disagree with you more. Only a very small part of the climbing world is about competition.

There's no pressure from "the whole climbing community to go big or go home" unless you perceive it like that.

Climbing is freedom from the insane out of control pressure from our modern society, a pressure that is mostly responsible for depression.
spacecadetjake - on 03 Jan 2014
In reply to The Pylon King:
Thanks for the positivity ... Just as Climb Out is getting popular and my hard work is paying off I had a slight accident yesterday and possibly broke my Scaphoid in my wrist. There is a link to a blog I just wrote on
Thanks UKC for this premier post and thanks everyone who is getting involved.
Post edited at 21:12
Gordon Stainforth - on 04 Jan 2014
In reply to spacecadetjake:

Just want to express my 101 per cent support for your brilliant and worthwhile enterprise. I'm sure you're going to help an enormous number of people.
Wookster - on 04 Jan 2014
In reply to spacecadetjake:

That's a bummer about your accident.
I saw this video and thought much of it was very good. If you can't be arsed to watch the whole thing fast forward to about 15 minutes and watch from there.
I thought it echoed much of what has been said

Looking to get the book at some stage
spacecadetjake - on 04 Jan 2014
In reply to Wookster:

That's an awesome video I must admit thanks for sharing i think I will put it on the site.
drsdave - on 04 Jan 2014
In reply to hun:

If someone has the inclination to climb, they have for instance capasity to understand whats involved and that is basically enjoy yourself then they should be encouraged to do so. In the right hands with good friends climbing is not competitive but exploratory and fun and what depressed people need is friends who can lead them into life and forgetting about their problems for an afternoon.
spacecadetjake - on 05 Jan 2014
In reply to drsdave:
Thanks for the positive message.
heelhookofglory - on 05 Jan 2014
In reply to spacecadetjake:

Keep up the great work, Jake. I'm glad that we got chatting about this as it seems we have a lot in common.

To touch on some points above. I've personally found that climbing has helped me a lot over the years. Sure, it's been hard work but it's motivated me like nothing else in terms of mental challenges. I used to lack confidence and suffer with mild depression, I still have the latter of course but I'm more aware now. Now I'm running my own business full-time and have created many deep and meaningful relationships with friends through climbing.

I'd say this is fantastic and you deserve all the help that you can get, Jake.

Keep in touch buddy and give me a shout if I can help out with anything. We can start with your website when we've had a chat.
hun - on 05 Jan 2014
In reply to spacecadetjake:

I used to climb.
I went to the climbing gym the other day for the first time after a long while.
And again I felt out of place. I was struck by the dark depression and smell of testosterone that lingered over the place eveloping the strugglers on the coloured holds.
Very few people were having real fun there. Only traces of the wide-eyed joy here and there, mostly on faces of people who weren't taking it seriously at all.
The select few were having fun while the others were pulling hard, grunting, doing pull-ups, flexing muscles trying hard to make the impression that they really understood what climbing was about but without a clue really.
I used to climb.
I was once strong and free. I remember walking through autumn forests, knee deep in fallen leaves with the sun on my face and anticipation in the air.
Anticipation of the freedom of movement, soaring up the rock face reading and understanding all it's stories, knowing it's history and being in the flow of life.
In the days without internet, hardcore magazines and the attitude of “Go big or go home” we lived
simple, respectful and most importantly stress-free lives. Climbing was about beauty, being part of something and the gloomy darkness of a climbing gym would have been a nightmare to evaporate with the morning dew.
Trying too hard has never made anyone happy.
One can train all their life and he may never come close to the level of difficulty some talented people warm up on.
Like many things in life, climbing these days is measured in units, grades are compared, idols crushed into the ground and most of it is done by miserable unhappy people, too busy training to see what climbing is really about.
They can't see that the essence of climbing is to tap into the universal flow of energy surrounding us. We should open our souls to understand the harmonies of the environment we're in and “style” things instead of “sending” them.
Back in the day my greatest joy was when I managed -even just for a moment- to get into a flawless rhythm soaring up the rock, every move perfect. Those were the days when I climbed things way harder that anybody thought I could. To do this is a real art. To pull hard, push down, grunt, lean, dyno and crimp is just the surface of things.
Only people who look beyond the physical struggle, recognise the complex patterns, read the rock and reach into hidden corners of their souls will ever become real climbers.
Others are just hanging on.
I feel sorry for the hangers-on. They are the ones with perpetual injuries, relationship difficulties, buried deep in their depression, training hard whilst being blind as a bat to all the beauty around them. These people walk through the beautiful valleys with brisk steps to get to the rock quickly so they can squeeze a few more problems into the day.
We used to call them climbs. Respected, even feared them but they were never our problems.
They welcomed us back every time like old friends and we knew that we had somewhere to go when the world seemingly conspired against us and we'd lost our way.
Some idiot started calling them problems, blind to everything climbing was about and we followed suit.
I used to climb.
I may come back to my old friends one day. It will be a respectful and quiet affair. I know that I will be welcomed back by the rocks and the marks we'd put on them even if the strong young lads fresh from the gym will raise an eyebrow seeing the old man walking towards the cliff.
spacecadetjake - on 05 Jan 2014
In reply to stevemarkperry:

Cheers Steve things are really taking off so fast it's unbelievable. I'm sure we can have fun & help people along the way.
spacecadetjake - on 05 Jan 2014
In reply to hun:

That's a much more positive attitude and I thank you for your words. Your profile says your are only 37 that's 3 years younger than me and I've only just started climbing. I climbed with 2 guys who were 65 yrs old the other month and still leading 6A sport in El Chorro, Spain. I then climbed with 24 yr olds who were climbing 7B. It's all relative to you when you are with the right people.
coreybennett - on 08 Jan 2014
In reply to spacecadetjake:

Climbing doesn't make me depressed, its the best thing that's ever happened to me!
climbnplay on 09 Jan 2014
In reply to hun:

I am sorry to see that you only perceive negativity in others and the surrounding atmosphere (while contributing none to yourself). there are plenty of people who climb for the pure joy of climbing, for getting out of a busy city, for athletic aesthetics in nature, for fresh air, or just for a good laugh with friends. Yes, I concur that there has been a general shift in attitude towards "grades" since this "sport" calling climbing became mainstream and climbing centers flourished. However, if climbing for the sake of climbing and adventure is so important to you (it is for me), then you have not looked remotely hard enough for it. Instead you sit around and moan about everyone else's "inferior morality," and I am sorry to see it.
hun - on 10 Jan 2014
In reply to climbnplay:
You see, I was (still am) tempted to write a really rude reply. I think I have looked quite a bit harder than most. I have moved countries, learnt a new language and life to be able to climb the way I wanted. That was before I realiised that many "climbers" are hypocrites beyond help.
cb_6 - on 12 Jan 2014
In reply to hun:

Hun, put simply you cannot assert that your own experiences of climbing and depression are universal. Many people, myself included, have found that climbing helped them overcome depression.
nicolas durand - on 12 Jan 2014
In reply to spacecadetjake:

To all comments so far, i think you misread jake s thread. He is basically putting a website up for people suffering depression or mental health issues in order to share his ersonal experience that climbing seem to bring some kind of help to his condition. He is not saying climbing made him depressed.
Hope this helps.
spacecadetjake - on 15 Jan 2014
In reply to nicolas durand:

Thanks Nicolas and it really does help

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