This page is a printable version of: https://www.iow.nhs.uk/news/Connect-with-nature-this-Mental-Health-Awareness-Week.htm
Date: 20 September 2021
This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week (10 - 16 May), is focussed on the theme of nature. There’s a lot of good research to support the role nature can play in protecting and supporting our mental health, though for many of us, 'being in nature’ may not be as easy as it sounds.
The good news is there are lots of simple ways to bring nature into your everyday life, from garden wildlife to listening to sounds from a park bench and walking one of the many beauty trails on the Island.
This week the Isle of Wight NHS Trust is encouraging everyone in the community to get involved in Mental Health Awareness Week by:
Anna Garrett, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Isle of Wight NHS Trust said:
“Mindfulness is acknowledged to be a useful skill which promotes positive mental health. This is the practise of deliberately becoming aware of experiences in the here and now, letting go our usual descriptions and judgements.
The natural world gifts us a very easy way of embodying this focus, through the richness of sensory experience it offers. The sensations you discover when resting your hand against the bark of a tree, the exploration of sound and smell as you walk by the sea, the warmth of the spring sunshine on your face.
Each new moment offers a journey with our senses and an opportunity to slow down, engage and connect with life around us”
Seeking mental health support
In addition to getting involved in the nature theme of Mental Health Awareness Week, there are several ways people can access support including:
Image credits: Red Squirrel by Fiona Bannister, IOW NHS Trust / Castle Cove in Ventnor by Helen Rouse, IOW NHS Trust