This years Mental Health Awareness Week’s theme is NATURE.
During the long months of the pandemic, millions of us turned to nature, including me. I became quite neurotic about how I could attract birds to my garden. I tried every type of food and tactics but soon realised nature needed a few more trees and hedges to hide in. I am glad to say we are getting some regular visitors now.
Mark Rowland wrote that their 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 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.
Nature is our great untapped resource for a mentally healthy future, it is central to our psychological and emotional health. In the US a study found that patients who were treated in hospitals with a view of nature recovered faster. So during Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 they hope to raise awareness and inspire more people to connect with nature in new ways and to convince decision makers at all levels that access to and quality of nature is a mental health and social justice issue as well as an environmental one.
Mind are asking you to join in with them and the Mind community to speak out and share why fighting for mental health is important to you. Whether you’re fighting for your younger self who struggled with depression, for your friend on CAMHS waiting list or simply for properly funded mental health services. Whether you use social media or speak with friends, family or colleagues – help create a movement.
If you’re sharing on social media, remember to tag Mind and use the hashtags #mhaw #fightforMH to make sure you’re joining in the conversation. The coronavirus pandemic is having a huge impact on our mental health. Help their Infoline be there for everyone so they all have someone to talk to when it becomes too much. Help them reach more people feeling trapped and isolated with our peer support networks and advice on staying well. And help them to continue campaigning to protect your rights and support your needs. Donate here.
Mind provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding and they won’t give up until everyone experiencing a mental health problem gets support and respect.