Mental Health Awareness Week is a yearly event encouraging the whole of the UK to focus on good mental health. This year it is running from 10 to16 May. It is open to everyone regardless of background and is all about starting conversations around mental health and the things in our daily lives that may affect it.

The theme for Mental Health Awareness Week this year is ’nature’. This means that throughout this week especially, we would like you to think about how nature can improve your mental health and how you could connect with nature more.

Try to notice nature and try to make a habit of connecting to nature every day.

Simple ways you could do this include:

  • Listening to the birds singing outside
  • Smelling freshly cut grass
  • Taking care of a house plant
  • Walking your dog
  • Stopping to notice any trees, flowers or animals whilst out walking
  • Taking photographs, video recording or sound recordings of nature
  • Arrange a picnic/lunch outdoors
  • Exercise outside, rather than inside

Take a moment to appreciate these connections – you might be surprised by what you notice!

Being in nature is an effective way of tackling mental health issues and protecting our emotional wellbeing. 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 vital for our mental health.

Nature is something that is all around us and is free to access. There is a way for everybody to get involved in nature, so get outside and get creative!

However, if you are not too interested in nature, that is OK too – this week is also a fantastic opportunity to talk about all aspects of mental health with others. Just by talking about mental health and starting conversations with others is a great way to spread awareness. You could also talk about nature  too!

If you would like to talk to someone about your mental health or emotional wellbeing, you can contact your school nurses through Chat Health.

If you liked this blog or want further information, please visit our Emotional Health page.