‘My doctor prescribed rambling for lockdown anxiety’

Angie Brown reports for BBC Scotland:

An Edinburgh widower who was struggling with mental health issues due to the isolation of lockdown has walked 2,000 miles in a year after his doctor prescribed that he join the Ramblers.

Jim Snodgrass, 84, from South Queensferry, said he was expecting to receive medication for his anxiety.

But instead all he was given was the Ramblers’ phone number. [Editor’s note: The Ramblers are Britain’s walking charity, working to protect and expand the places people love to walk and promote walking for health and pleasure.]

Dr Victor Jack said he recognised that Jim needed ‘social connection’ not pills.

Jim, whose wife Sheila died six years ago, said he broke down during the first Covid lockdown in March 2020.

The grandfather-of-two said: ‘I was not feeling good as I was bothered with my nerves so I called the doctor and that’s when I burst into tears on the phone to the receptionist.

‘She was so nice to me and got the doctor to call me.

‘I was surprised when he didn’t give me any pills and instead gave me the number for the Ramblers.’ …”

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