Series - Connect
Mental Health Series - Connect
This year, Mental Health Awareness Week is taking place between 10 – 16 May with nature as the theme.
Nature was chosen for 2021 because the last 12 months has seen many people turn to outdoor space for comfort as a result of the pandemic.
Research showed that 45% of us reported that being in green spaces had been vital for our mental wellbeing, and going out for walks was listed as a top coping strategy for those struggling with their mental health while under restrictions.
This could be because, as we explore the outside world, we experience nature’s unique ability to calm us in times of stress. Nature can also increase our creativity, empathy and sense of wonder.
However, it’s not simply spending time immersed in nature that really makes an impact, it’s also how we decide to connect with wildlife and the environment around us.
Even a small connection with nature, such as being outside and hearing the birds chirp, can reduce feelings of social isolation, be effective in protecting our mental health and prevent distress.
Despite the great benefits of connecting with nature many people, particularly teenagers, aren’t accessing or benefiting from being outdoors. Did you know… around 13% of UK households have no access to a garden.
Whether you enjoy spending time outdoors with friends or by yourself, there are plenty of easy ways you can connect with your surroundings which include:
- Taking a walk locally
- Sitting outside, pausing and taking in the world around you
- Spending time in the garden setting and growing plants
- Bird watching and discovering your local wildlife
If you need support with your mental health or would like more advice on how to support others, you can find more information at: www.mentalhealth.org.uk.