This year the theme is Nature and how connecting with the natural world can support good mental health.
Monday 10 May 2021: Today marks the launch of Mental Health Awareness Week, the UK’s national week to raise awareness of mental health.
The week, which is hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, is in its 21st year and runs from 10-16 May.
Across the country, people will be celebrating the mental health benefits of being around nature in their local community in a range of digital and creative ways. As a remote based business, Value Match will continue connecting with our colleagues more over, we will
- Mental Health Training as part of our Workplace Wellbeing course provided by Me Learning
- Encourage going for a walk for 30 minutes a day
- Our calls this week will include the backgrounds provided by mentalhealth.org.uk during the Mental Health Awareness Week.
Alex our Procurement Resourcing Consultant talks about her mental health experience:
“I have had GPD (Generalised Panic Disorder), PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) and depression for about 20 years now. Whilst I receive help with medication and therapy, I’ve also found being outdoors to be really helpful. Nature, to me, is so important to my recovery because it gets me out of the house and helps with my physical health and is a great way to relieve my anxiety and lift my mood and during lockdown, and has helped me feel connected to something.
I’m really lucky to live on the doorstep of a forest and lake and go for walks 4 times a week.
Over the last year I have reduced my anxiety by watching the cygnets grow and the tadpoles turn to frogs. I’ve even enjoyed sitting and watching people with their dogs, running into the water and making friends with the other dogs and hunting for “fairy” houses that locals have built and put into the trees in the forest.
My anxiety can turn to agoraphobia (the fear of leaving the house) and when this happens, I like to look out my back door and onto my garden. This overlooks a horse’s field with some very friendly horses in who occasionally look for a little garden snack.
Ways in which nature can help you, can be found on the MIND website.
From their ideas I’ve decided to grow a vegetable patch in my back garden to really help me commit to getting out of the house and enjoying the outdoors.”
Mark Rowland Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation said: “Mental Health Awareness Week has grown to be one of the biggest awareness weeks in the UK. This year the theme is on nature and its central role for our mental health. Since the beginning of the pandemic, millions of us turned to nature to help us get through lockdowns and our research shows that good mental health depends on us being able to connect with nature in some way and its power in both prevention of and recovery from poor mental health.
“During the week, we want to hear millions of people’s stories about how the natural world has supported their mental health.
“We also want to highlight the huge disparities between who is and who isn’t able to access nature. We want the week to explore how everyone across the UK can connect with nature and experience the mental health benefits wherever they live.”
Some of the ways people can participate in Mental Health Awareness Week:
- During Mental Health Awareness Week, why not try to make a habit each day of connecting to the nature in your local area? 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.
- 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
- Use Mental Health Foundation resources in your family, school, workplace and community to join with thousands of people who will be finding new ways to connect with nature in their local environment.
For more information about this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week visit mentalhealth.org.uk/mhaw or join the conversation on social media using #ConnectWithNature and #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek