Suffolk Mind marks Mental Health Awareness Week by encouraging you to connect with nature
During Mental Health Awareness Week (Monday 10 May – Sunday 16 May 2021), Suffolk Mind are releasing tips and advice to encourage people to connect with nature to improve mental health.
Suffolk Mind data shows the number of local people at risk of stress and mental ill health has more than doubled since before the coronavirus pandemic, so it is more important than ever to raise awareness of mental health.
More than half of us (55%) are not, on average, meeting our emotional needs – the key to avoiding stress and maintaining good mental health. This is up from 24.2% before the pandemic.
Throughout this week, Suffolk Mind will be encouraging people to plant seeds on their windowsills, make bird feeders, join a nature trail, pledge to take on the 100 Miles for Suffolk Mind challenge, create a bug hotel or join a movement session based around our book character, Sammy the Sea Squirt.
They will also be supporting other activities, organised by partner charities, like the Take 10 reading challenge, and the East Anglian Daily Times Welcome back to Wellbeing online event on 12 May.
Ezra Hewing, Head of Education at Suffolk Mind said: “Mental Health depends on meeting emotional needs which include the needs to share attention, to have privacy, so we can calm down and reflect, and to have meaning and purpose in our lives. We can meet these needs when we connect with nature.
“Getting away from busy lives and demands can be hard when we’re surrounded by screens and distractions. Connecting with nature can give us the privacy to be free to relax. Attention is precious, and giving attention to nature can help us slow down and return to a relaxed state.”
During the Awareness Week, our GreenCare allotment projects will be reopening after pausing in December 2020 due to Covid-19 restrictions. Sarah Manton-Roseblade is the manager: “It’s been around 5 months since we stopped this service to keep people safe, but we are really excited to get back to supporting people in the open space.
“Our four allotments across Suffolk are places where people can feel like they really achieve something; they see the seeds that they plant, grow into beautiful flowers, fruit and vegetables. They also have the chance to chat to other participants and volunteers whilst having a well-earned cup of tea.
“We’re look forward to welcoming anyone to our groups. For more details, visit our website: www.suffolkmind.org.uk/greencare.”
The organisers of the awareness week, the Mental Health Foundation, set the ‘connect with nature’ theme after their research showed that 45% of people reported that being in green spaces has been vital for their mental health during the Covid-19 pandemic.
For tips and advice on how you can connect with nature during Mental Health Awareness Week, click here.
Author: Kristina Brinkley
Posted on: 10th May 2021