This year the theme is ‘Nature’ and how connecting with the natural world can support good mental health.
Waltham Forest College staff and students are celebrating the launch of Mental Health Awareness Week, the UK’s national week to raise awareness of mental health, hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, is in its 21st year and runs from 10-16 May.
Across the country, people will be celebrating the mental health benefits of being around nature in their local community in a range of digital and creative ways.
In Waltham Forest College students will have access to a range of resources that allow them to discuss what mental health means to them along with the opportunity to take part in healthy outdoor activities, in keeping with the ‘Nature’ theme.
Director of Learner Services, Amir Ahmed said: “We are proud of how resilient our students have been over the lockdown period as the pandemic has affected many young people’s mental health and wellbeing. Getting our learners back into the classrooms was a vital step in supporting their recovery.”
Waltham Forest College has organised a series of workshops on themed topics linked to wellbeing that promotes active discussions around positive wellbeing. The College has also recently launched a new online Wellbeing Hub that contains useful advice and tips for maintaining positive mental health and wellbeing.
Mark Rowland Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation said: “Mental Health Awareness Week has grown to be one of the biggest awareness weeks in the UK. This year the theme is on nature and its central role in our mental health. Since the beginning of the pandemic, millions of us turned to nature to help us get through lockdowns and our research shows that good mental health depends on us being able to connect with nature in some way and its power in both prevention of and recovery from poor mental health.
“During the week, we want to hear millions of people’s stories about how the natural world has supported their mental health.
“We also want to highlight the huge disparities between who is and who isn’t able to access nature. We want the week to explore how everyone across the UK can connect with nature and experience the mental health benefits wherever they live.”
Some of the ways people can participate in Mental Health Awareness Week:
- During Mental Health Awareness Week, why not try to make a habit each day of connecting to nature in your local area? Stop to listen to the birdsong, smell the freshly cut grass, take care of a house plant, notice any trees, flowers or animals nearby. Take a moment to appreciate these connections.
- Share images/videos/or just sound recordings of the nature on your doorstep (and how this made you feel) on social media using #ConnectWithNature and #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek
- Use Mental Health Foundation resources in your family, school, workplace and community to join with thousands of people who will be finding new ways to connect with nature in their local environment.
For more information about this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week visit mentalhealth.org.uk/mhaw or join the conversation on social media using #ConnectWithNature and #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek