A young Ceredigion woman's life was turned around with the help of the county's Actif team.

After suffering severe joint pain in late 2023, the 20-year-old found herself unable to work, struggling with household chores, and wrestling with mental health challenges.

It wasn't until earlier this year that she mustered the courage to inform her family about the depth of her struggles.

Keen to tackle this crisis, her mother reached out to Paul, the health interventions coordinator for Ceredigion Actif.

Paul arranged a meeting with the health intervention staff at the Wellbeing Centre in Lampeter.

The young woman's mother showered praises on staff members Sue and Llinos.

She said: "The staff at the centre went above and beyond to support my daughter.

"They encouraged her with support and compassion, helping her overcome her anxiety."

Apprehensive at first, the young woman experienced panic attacks and tears during her initial gym sessions.

However, as she attended session after session, comfort was found in the supportive environment fostered by Sue, Llinos, and other supportive participants.

Instead of requiring chaperoning from her mother, the young woman then started attending sessions alone.

From these experiences, she found strength and a welcoming environment.

The mother further added: "The impact on her mental health was profound.

"Social anxiety lessened, her motivation soared and her physical health improved significantly.

"As a result, my daughter is now pursuing her dream of studying Psychology at the university: a testament to the remarkable transformation she's undergone."

The young woman said: "The difference between me at the first session I attended and now in incredible. My confidence has grown immensely and these sessions have not only benefitted my physical health but also my mental health."

This young woman's story further emphasises the link between physical and mental health.

Her experience underscores the potential benefits of physical activity for mental health, particularly for the younger population as they navigate these challenging times.

Councillor Catrin M S Davies, Ceredigion’s cabinet member for culture, leisure, and customer services, referred to this tale as a reminder of the potential power of staying active.

She said: "The experiences of this young woman highlights the importance of promoting physical activity as a support structure for both mental and physical health.

"It's a simple yet powerful tool that has the potential to change lives and foster resilience in challenging times."