Throughout this pandemic, millions have experienced a mental health problem, or seen a loved one struggle. The support required is not always adequate or sadly isn’t even out there. Mental health is not hidden anymore; it’s on the front pages; it’s on the political agenda; it’s spoken about by royalty. For millions of people, mental health is now something to be honest about – not ashamed of.
The 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 theme this year is Nature. Download their Nature Journal HERE to document how you feel before and after connecting with nature, and jot down anything interesting you notice while doing so!
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 as many people as possible – individuals, communities and governments – are being asked to think about connecting with nature and how nature can improve our mental health. We are extremely fortunate where we live surrounded by the fields and woodland with the sea shore less than 10 miles away.
Lewesdon is obviously our closest hill, but there is Pilsden Pen right next to it and the 45 second video below by local photographer, James Dawson captures the stunning 360 view from Pilsden Pen on a recent windy day:
What a wonderful place we live!
There are lots of ways that you can get involved in Mental Health Awareness Week. Notice nature and try to make a habit of connecting to the nature every day. Stop to listen to the birdsong, smell the freshly cut grass, take care of a house plant, notice any trees, flowers or animals nearby. Take a moment to appreciate these connections.
It has been stated –
- Spending just 5 minutes in nature can boost your wellbeing.
- Exercising in nature reduces blood pressure, heightens immunity and improves mood and self-esteem.
- EnglishGardening.co.uk give 11 surprising health benefits from Gardening (see below).
- Exeter University recommends spending 2 hours or more a week in nature to get the benefits for wellbeing – similar to the 5 a day of fruit and veg.
- Open your curtains and let the sun shine in – you’ll get a boost of serotonin and Vitamin D which helps to improve mental health and wellbeing.
DorsetAONB.org invite you to Virtual Picnics in the parks! Click HERE.
The Mental Health Foundation invites people to share images/videos/or just sound recordings of the nature on your doorstep (and how this made you feel) on social media using #ConnectWithNature and #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek hashtags.
MIND (Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders): Find out more about their new strategy and how they plan to lead the fight for mental health, including their focus on supporting the people disproportionately affected by mental health issues. Click HERE.
MIND are a registered charity in England (no. 219830).
IF YOU NEED HELP NOW:
- The Samaritans offer emotional support 24 hours a day – in full confidence.
Call 116 123 – it’s FREE
Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- For support in a crisis, Text Shout to 85258.
- You can contact ReThink HERE, Monday to Friday, 10am-2pm for practical advice on:
- benefits, debt, money issues.
- police, courts, prison.
- your rights under the Mental Health Act.
- different types of therapy and medication.
Call ReThink on 0300 5000 927 (calls are charged at your local rate).
YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
Someone will listen, give you support and advice, and fight your corner.