Mental Health Awareness Week this year is the 10 – 16th May and the theme this year is nature.
Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, Mental Health Awareness week this year is focused on nature. Being out in nature can improve mental health by:
- reducing feelings of stress
- encourage relaxation
- improve confidence and self-esteem
- help you to make more connections
- improve mood
Mark Rowland, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation, had this to say about the theme this year.
During long months of the pandemic, millions of us turned to nature. Our research on the mental health impacts of the pandemic showed going for walks outside was one of our top coping strategies and 45% of us reported being in green spaces had been vital for our mental health. Websites which showed footage from webcams of wildlife saw hits increase by over 2000%. Wider studies also found that during lockdowns, people not only spent more time in nature but were noticing it more.
It was as if we were re-discovering at our most fragile point our fundamental human need to connect with nature.
Nature and our mental health
Nature is so central to our psychological and emotional health, that it’s almost impossible to realise good mental health for all without a greater connection to the natural world. For most of human history, we lived as part of nature. It is only in the last five generations that so many of us have lived and worked in a context that is largely separated from nature. And it is only since a 1960s study in the US found that patients who were treated in hospitals with a view of nature recovered faster, that science has started to unpack the extraordinary health benefits.
We hope everyone uses the opportunity, not just this week for mental health awareness week, but as often as possible to get out and experience nature.
FREE mental health support helpline
If you, or anyone else you know, need additional support, our free mental health support helpline is available to book up to five sessions with one of our Practitioners to go through techniques and activities to manage your mental health. For more information call 020 3855 4578 or visit https://www.smarttms.co.uk/coronavirus-mental-health-helpline