Fly fishing group therapy focuses on men’s mental health

Local News

DENVER (KDVR) — Many outdoorsmen enjoy fly fishing for the beauty of nature and its serenity. But it seems the sport reaches deeper waters than one might think.

Jennings Hester knows his stuff when it comes to fly fishing — and then some. Hester discovered the outdoor sport yields more than fish, it also helps with anxiety and depression.

Hester noticed a link between his love for fly fishing and maintaining mental health. That’s why he started Fishing the Good Fight, an organization supporting men’s development in their mental health journey. The organization takes men on weekend retreats to fly fish and attend group therapy.

“I was seriously struggling from about 18 to until 30, until I finally got help,” said Hester of his own experience with mental health. It takes most men about 12 years after first experiencing symptoms of anxiety and depression to seek out help. Less than 20% of men struggling with mental health have received professional help.

After approximately 10 years of suffering alone, Hester sought therapy and the appropriate medication. But these weren’t all that helped him heal.

“Getting out into nature — and especially fly fishing — it made me mindful, present,” said Hester.

For more information on Fishing the Good Fight, visit www.fighingthegoodfight.org.

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