The theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week (10-16 May) from the Mental Health Foundation was nature. Health and care partners across Coventry and Warwickshire supported the week and asked people to think about how they could use the great outdoors to improve their mental health.
Lots of people connected with nature during the pandemic with walks outside being one of the top reported coping strategies. One of the 5 ways to Wellbeing is ‘taking notice’ and even with the current restrictions in place, there are opportunities to go outdoors safely and enjoy some of the green and blue spaces we have all around us in Coventry and Warwickshire.
The week may have passed by but thinking about ways to maintain good mental health is important every day of the year.
For ideas on how you can enjoy nature The Warwickshire Wildlife Trust launched ‘Wellbeing Wednesdays’ during Mental Health Awareness Week as an ongoing theme through their social media. They aim to promote it as a ‘weekly bookmark’ to encourage people to access nature to help improve their mental and physical health all year round. Visit the website to see what events are coming up near you.
The Canal and River Trust have activities taking place across both Coventry & Warwickshire in the coming weeks such as the ‘Lets Fish’, Let’s Ride’ and Nature/Heritage walks. You can visit their website and find out more using their interactive map.
A horticultural social enterprise in Coventry, Team Springboard CIC, that offers training, work experience and volunteering opportunities in practical horticulture will soon be introducing free growing kits that will be available for residents across Coventry and Warwickshire. Their aim is help to reduce social isolation, improve wellbeing and teach new skills by encouraging people in the community to work outside on purposeful activities in the natural environment.
The growing kits are called “Ready Steady Grow!” and will be available to order here soon.
The Mental Health Foundation’s campaign page features lots of tips to help people to connect with nature and understand the role it plays to protect and support wellbeing. Suggestions include; using all our senses, exercising outside, inviting nature inside, protecting nature in local communities, and more.
Mental Health Awareness week was just the beginning. Look out for events taking place in the coming months throughout Coventry & Warwickshire that may help inspire more connections with nature.