Sea Sanctuary Charity

Sea Sanctuary Charity

A combination approach…. Mindfulness/CBT combined with sailing.

Sea Sanctuary is a marine-based, mental health Charity founded in 2006 and the only Charity of its kind and we are commissioned by the KCCG.

Our aim is to reach individuals (children, young people and adults) in communities who present with poor mental health. Sea Sanctuary uses two very different platforms from which we deliver our service; our wooden yacht ‘Grace’ (a 70ft 1925 gaff-rigged ketch) and through our land-based facility, ‘Water’s Edge’. However, despite their obvious differences, both of the facilities work together allowing us to provide treatment for approximately 150 -200 people each year.

Our service is available to any individual (subject to an assessment) in the UK requiring support, although we typically support the needs of Cornwall and Devon.

Afloat – We run day and residential programmes, which combine taking a group of clients to sea (in local

water’s) on board a yacht and providing an educational programme around Mindfulness and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). During their time with us afloat, we will explore the following areas – Why do I respond like this? What other options exist which do not rely on alcohol/drug use? What are the fundamental differences between thoughts and feelings?

Our ‘Sail into Life’ programme was described as; “the best experience of my life” by one service user who had some 20 years of mental health care. This clearly illustrates the potency and quality of our service.

On Land – A stone’s throw away from the sea, ‘Water’s Edge’ is a relatively new addition to our service and has already seen fantastic results. Used as a stand-alone intervention or as part of a wider package of care, this project allows us to stay alongside our service users, creating a sense of stability and continuity of care. ‘Water’s Edge’ provides a range of activities (e.g. Art Therapy, creative writing) and is already a hub of activity. Many of the people accessing this project would, quite literally, have no other form of support without the existence of this facility.

What do we actually achieve? A recent review of our work in 2014 clearly showed that 84% of those accessing Sea Sanctuary (post treatment) had an improved sense of well-being, were better able to manage the symptoms of anxiety/depression and had a more positive outlook. For reference, we use the WEMWBS, GAD-7 and BDI to evaluate our programme and our service is overseen by a Consultant Psychiatrist.

We can truly say that we are making a difference to people’s lives through our service.

Sea Sanctuary provides the opportunity for our beneficiaries to:

  • improve their level of well-being (and sustain it)
  • develop their soft-skills (improving communication skills and social skills)
  • learn new coping strategies (reduce negative thinking/catastrophising)
  • learn both Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Mindfulness
  • be involved in group intervention (developing empathy and trust)
  • develop an interest in sailing and/or physical exercise
  • be less socially isolated (make new friends)
  • develop peer support groups (rely on others and develop trust)
  • increase their awareness of their own mental health (understand behavioural cycles)
  • develop confidence and self-esteem (prosper as a person)

How can our service help you?

Sea Sanctuary is a well-established mental health service that has supported in excess of 400 people since 2009, when the service became fully operational. Far from a sailing jolly, the combination of sail training and psychological support is a very successful formula indeed for reducing poor mental health and building emotional resilience. Our service fulfils a number of objects including stimulating a new interest, encouraging physical exercise, reducing social isolation, helping people to think differently (using both CBT and Mindfulness) and providing a monitoring service.

As our service is part funded by the Big Lottery, we can keep our costs to a minimum whilst providing a high quality service.

We ask that you reflect on any of your current patients who might benefit from our service and refer them accordingly. The process of referral is straightforward and our website or office (01326 378919) can provide further information.                                              

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