Mental Health Awareness Week - Nature & our mental health - **Including Nature Walks & Nature Drop-in & Chat**
By Hub Manager on 13/05/2021
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.
During Mental Health Awareness Week 2021, we will pull together the evidence that demonstrates the powerful benefits of nature for our mental health. We will look at nature’s unique ability to not only bring consolation in times of stress, but also increase our creativity, empathy and a sense of wonder. It turns out that it is not just being in nature but how we open ourselves up and interact with nature that counts. We will show that even small contacts with nature can reduce feelings of social isolation and be effective in protecting our mental health, and preventing distress.
Nature is our great untapped resource for a mentally healthy future.
Despite this, many of us are not accessing or benefitting from nature. Teenagers in particular appear to be less connected with nature and around 13% of UK households have no access to a garden. We want to challenge the disparities in who is and who isn’t able to experience nature. Nature is not a luxury. It is a resource that must be available for everyone to enjoy - as basic as having access to clean water or a safe roof over our heads. Local and national governments need to consider their role in making this a reality for everyone, and we will be talking about how they can do so during the week.
Our top tips on connecting with nature to improve your mental health
Nature: How connecting with nature benefits our mental health
Mental Health Awareness Week FAQs
My Health Matters – Nature Drop-in
Join the My Health Matters team this Friday for a drop-in session where you can have cuppa and a chat, and talk about your favourite nature spots to visit.
Friday 14th May – 11am-1pm – join via Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/98817257537
Tapestry – Nature Walks
Join Tapestry on their weekly walks around the Thames Chase Forest.
Contact Zoey Griffin for more details and how to join
Phone: 01708 208 452
Forestry England – Weekly Walks and Self-Led trails
Weekly Walks on Mondays 2-3pm organised by Forestry England
Contact Rachel Purchase
Phone: 07775 019 588
Wellbeing & Tree Walks
Wellbeing and Tree Walks at Thames Chase Forest Centre - To book contact:
Phone: 01708 642970