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Mental Health Awareness Week 2021

Posted by Devon Partnership Trust in News on 10th May, 2021

Today marks the start of Mental Health Awareness Week and the theme this year is 'nature'.

Mental Health Awareness Week is run every year by the Mental Health Foundation with an aim to get people talking about their mental health and to reduce the stigma that exists around the many illnesses associated with poor mental health.

There is no better time to talk about mental health as people have lost loved ones, as well as the challenges that isolation and lack of contact with friends and family has had due to the pandemic. The psychological and social impacts of COVID-19 often go unseen, so the message that help is out there and it is OK to talk about how you are feeling, is more important than ever.

Getting out in nature can play a hugely important part in recovery and maintaining good mental health.

Research from the Mental Health Foundation on the impacts of the pandemic has shown that going for walks outside was one of the top coping strategies during the pandemic and 45% of people reported being in green spaces had been vital for mental health. Wider studies also found that during lockdowns, people not only spent more time in nature but were noticing it more.

This Mental Health Awareness Week hopes to encourage more people to connect with nature and we will be sharing stories from across our organisation on social media about how nature is helping people in their recovery, stories such as the Orchard at Franklyn Hospital, the donation of plants to wards by New Leaf and just some of the fantastic courses on offer from Devon Recovery Learning Community (DRLC). Later in the week we will also hear from the Torbay Psychology and Psychological Therapies Service about their work surrounding ecopsychology.

During the week, the Mental Health Foundation are encouraging people to do three things:

  • Experience nature: take time to recognise and grow your connection with nature during the week. Take a moment to notice and celebrate nature in your daily life. You might be surprised by what you notice!
  • Share nature: Take a photo, video or sound recording and share the connections you’ve made during the week, to inspire others. Join the discussion on how you’re connecting with nature by using the hashtags #ConnectWithNature #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek
  • Talk about nature: use the Mental Health Foundation tips, school packs, research and policy guides to discuss in your family, school, workplace and community how you can help encourage people to find new ways to connect with nature in your local environment.

For updates during the week, follow the hashtag #MHAW and #ConnectWithNature on our social media accounts here and also follow the Mental Health Foundation on Twitter @mentalhealth and on Instagram and Facebook @mentalhealthfoundation