MENTAL health sufferers across the district are being invited to boost their wellbeing by spending time in nature.
Local community organisation ARC (Achieving Results in Communities) offers weekly ‘Wellbeing in Nature’ sessions in Leamington and Warwick for people struggling with their mental health, recovering from an addiction, or feeling socially isolated.
Sessions are two hours long and are free of charge. Alongside connecting with the natural world, participants enjoy the opportunity to meet new people, and do nature-based crafts.
Session facilitator Kath Pasteur said: “Our sessions run outdoors all year round, and are really welcoming to newcomers. At this time of year, the spring shoots appearing from the soil offer a sense of hope for a better year to come.”
ARC has recently been awarded two years of funding for the Wellbeing in Nature service from the NHS Mental Health Transformation Fund – a new programme supporting voluntary and community organisations in delivering mental health support. ARC also receive funding for the sessions from the National Lottery.
Feedback from participants has highlighted how valuable the Wellbeing in Nature sessions are.
One participant at the Warwick group said: “The sessions have transformed my mental and physical health. I feel calmer, more energised, more hopeful about the future and better about myself. I have had far less recourse to my GP because the sessions have given me a grounding, a sense of perspective, tools to use when my mood or my self esteem is low, and something to look forward to. It is impossible to convey exactly everything the sessions have given me but I can honestly say they have been a life saver.”
ARC also deliver eight week Wellbeing in Nature courses at a third location outside Leamington. These sessions are a full day, allowing participants more time to reflect on their wellbeing and commit to some actions that might help them to move forward. The next course starts on Wednesday March 1.
Visit ARC’s website at https://arccic.co.uk/adult-wellbeing/