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This year, the 10th-16th May is Mental Health Awareness week. And this year, the selected theme is ‘nature’.
Mental Health Awareness Week is an annual event when there is an opportunity for the whole of the UK to focus on achieving good mental health. The Mental Health Foundation started the event 21 years ago. Each year the Foundation continues to set the theme, organise and host the week. The event has grown to become one of the biggest awareness weeks across the UK and globally.
Mental Health Awareness Week is open to everyone. It is all about starting conversations about mental health and the things in our daily lives that can affect it. This year we want as many people as possible—individuals, communities and governments—to think about connecting with nature and how nature can improve our mental health.
However, the week is also a chance to talk about any aspect of mental health that people want to—regardless of the theme.
The theme was chosen because being in nature is known to be an effective way of tackling mental health problems and of protecting wellbeing.
This seemed particularly important this year—in the year of a pandemic. Research has shown that being in nature has been one of the most popular ways the public have tried to sustain good mental health at a challenging time.
The hope is that by growing awareness of the importance of nature to good mental health, we can also work to ensure that everyone can share in it.
Nature is something that is all around us. It can be really helpful in supporting good mental health. Let’s all try to make that connection clearer for both individuals and policy makers.
What can I do?
Stories are the best tools we have to influence change. Unless we can demonstrate nature’s role in bringing solace and joy to our lives, it will remain under-valued and under-used.
You should share stories of how nature has supported your mental health. This might be as a simple as tending to a house plant, listening to the birds, touching the bark of trees, smelling flowers or writing a poem about our favourite nature spot.
Whatever it is for you, we invite you to #ConnectWithNature and share what this means for you.
During Mental Health Awareness Week, you should take the time to do three things:
Experience nature: take time to recognise and grow your connection with nature during the week. Take a moment to notice and celebrate nature in your daily life. You might be surprised by what you notice!
Share nature: take a photo, video or sound recording and share the connections you’ve made during the week, to inspire others. Join the discussion on how you’re connecting with nature by using the hashtags #ConnectWithNature #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek
Talk about nature: discuss in your family, school, workplace and community how you can help encourage people to find new ways to connect with nature in your local environment.
If you would like to find out more information on any of the topics mentioned in this article, please contact Health Assured on:
UK: 0844 892 2493
ROI: 01 886 0324
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