NATURE is this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week theme.
And health and care partners across Coventry and Warwickshire are asking people to think about how they can use the great outdoors to improve their mental health.
They are urging residents to visit the region’s Wellbeing for Life website for tips to connect with nature and understand the role it plays to support wellbeing. Suggestions include, using the five senses, exercising outside, inviting nature inside and protecting nature in communities.
Taking notice of our surroundings is one of the five ways to wellbeing, promoted widely in Coventry and Warwickshire, to support mental health.
The ‘five ways’ are steps designed to easily follow to improve mental health, and build wellbeing and kindness into daily life. They are connect, be active, keep learning, give and take notice.
Public Health Warwickshire spokeswoman Emily van de Venter said: “We are committed to helping people to be as safe, healthy and independent as possible and encouraging people to look after their mental health is key to this – particularly after this past year. We welcome the week and the wider opportunity it presents for us to start some conversations, normalise mental health challenges and share ideas with people about practical things they can do.
“Often people are afraid to talk about their mental health experiences because they fear the response they may receive. However, recognising the importance of taking care of our wellbeing and sharing experiences can break down barriers, helping to end isolation and shame that too many people feel when experiencing a mental health problem.
“As part of Mental Health Awareness Week, we are working with Coventry to promote the new Wellbeing for Life website and the Dear Life resource which is a support lifeline. We will also be shining a light on male mental health by sharing real-life stories from men who have used local support to offer hope to others who may be struggling at the moment.
“We want people to know it is okay not to feel okay an professional help is there if it is needed. There are small things we can all do to feel a bit brighter and more positive about our lives as we get back to doing some of the things we have missed.”
Visit www.wellbeing4life.co.uk for information and advice on connecting with nature.
Residents struggling with their mental health can also visit http://dearlife.org.uk for support and signposting.
Those without online access can call the free NHS crisis line on 0800 616 171 or Samaritans for free at any time on 116 123.