Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 takes place from Monday 10th to Sunday 16th May.
The theme for 2021 is Nature. During long months of the pandemic, millions of us turned to nature. Research on the mental health impacts of the pandemic showed going for walks outside was one of our top coping strategies and 45% of us reported being in green spaces had been a vital for our mental health. Websites which showed footage from webcams of wildlife saw hits increase by over 2000%. Wider studies also found that during lockdowns, people not only spent more time in nature but were noticing it more.
This year’s aim is to encourage people to connect with nature, which might be somewhere right on your doorstep. Whether you do this on your own, with a friend or family member, the benefits from spending time in nature and incorporating this into your daily routine can be great!
Key Aims for MHAW 2021
The week is an opportunity for people to talk about all aspects of mental health, with a focus on providing help and advice. The aim is to inspire more people to connect with nature in new ways, noticing the impact that this can have for their mental health. This might be as a simple as tending to a house plant, taking a walk, listening to the birds, touching the bark of trees, smelling flowers or writing a poem about a favourite nature spot. #NatureBLMK and #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek #ConnectWithNature are the hashtags for sharing stories/pictures.
How to get involved:
- 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 #NatureBLMK #ConnectWithNature #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek
- Talk about nature: use 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
Take note of simple things you can do to take care of your mental health and wellbeing during times of uncertainty by visiting www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/