This week is Mental Health Awareness Week – one of the biggest awareness weeks across the UK. This week is organised and hosted by the Mental Health Foundation which is a charity focused on mental health prevention and helps people to understand, protect and sustain their mental health. Each year, the Mental Health Foundation sets the theme and encourages individuals, schools, communities, and organisations to get involved. This year, the theme is ‘Connect with Nature’. Nature was chosen because millions of us turned to it during the pandemic. Many of us found that going for walks was one of the top coping strategies and being out in green spaces has improved our mental health and wellbeing. Throughout the lockdowns, we have not only just spent more time outdoors but we have also started to notice nature more / re-discover it.
There are many benefits to connecting with nature for our mental health, which include feeling happier, feeling less stressed or angry, having more and better-quality sleep and feeling less worried. It also increases self-esteem and self-confidence. This week offers an opportunity for our students to talk about all aspects of mental health and find their own way of connecting with nature.
Our students can connect with nature and improve their mental health in the following ways: