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Being a Scout or Guide Benefits Kids Mentally Later in Life

10/11/2016

Being a Scout or Guide Benefits Kids Mentally Later in LifeBeing a scout or guide as a child could improve your mental health in later life, a study has found.

According to the analysis of some 10,000 people conducted by researchers from the universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh, ex-scouts and guides were 15% less likely to suffer anxiety or mood disorders at the age of 50.

It's thought that the lessons learned in resilience and resolve that organisations like the scouts and guides offer could have a lasting positive impact.

The findings indicate that programmes which help children develop self-reliance and teamwork skills, and encourage outdoor activity, may have benefits for life.

Talking about the findings of the research, Prof Chris Dibben, lead researcher, from the University of Edinburgh's School of Geosciences, said: "It is quite startling that this benefit is found in people so many years after they have attended guides or scouts.

"We expect the same principles would apply to the scouts and guides of today and so, given the high costs of mental ill-health to individuals and society, a focus on voluntary youth programmes such as the guides and scouts might be very sensible."

Chief Scout and TV survival specialist Bear Grylls said: "I am really proud that scouting provides young people with an opportunity to develop the skills they need to be resilient and deal with what life throws at them."
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