Mental Health Awareness Week
Today marks the first day of Mental Health Awareness Week . This year's theme is "Nature" and the importance it plays in maintaining our wellbeing.
The Mental Health Foundation has produced research on "How connecting with nature benefits our mental health" and I invite you to access the full report here: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/nature/nature-research
What I want to draw attention to is the recognition that access to high quality nature spaces is not equally available to all. There are particular accessibility issues "For some groups, including many women, younger people, disabled people and people from ethnic minorities, ..." (p.6). Some of the barriers identified include physical inaccessibility and not feeling safe when enjoying nature. These point to important health, social and economic inequalities.
I hope that this Mental health awareness week, we can all spend some time reflecting on our mental health and our connection with nature. I, for one, will also be reflecting on how I can facilitate my clients' exploration of their connection with nature, including some of the barriers they may face.
To learn more about Mental Health Awareness Week, visit the Mental Health Foundation's website.