Mental Health Awareness Week

Posted: April 23, 2021

Organised by the Mental Health Foundation, Mental Health Awareness Week is taking place from 10 to 16 May.

Founded in 1949, the Mental Health Foundation is the UK’s leading charity for mental health.

Throughout the pandemic, millions of people across the UK have experienced a mental health problem. This week helps us to understand more about mental health, how it affects us, the different conditions and support available.

Nature

This year’s focus is on nature, as many of us have found the outdoors to be helpful in improving our wellbeing during the pandemic. 

Over the past year, we’ve seen an increase in people gardening, going on walks and exploring the outdoors – all of which have been essential for our mental health. 

Research from the Mental Health Foundation showed that going for walks outside was one of our top coping strategies, with 45% of us reporting how being in green spaces had been vital for our mental health.

During lockdowns, people have not only spent more time in nature, but have learnt to appreciate and notice it more; highlighting a fundamental need to connect with our outdoor environment.

Benefits

Bringing nature into your everyday life can have positive effects on your personal wellbeing. It can:

  • Enhance your mood
  • Reduce feelings of stress and anger
  • Help you take a break and feel relaxed
  • Improve your physical health
  • Build your confidence
  • Encourage you to be more active
  • Helps you make new connections 

Getting involved 

Support the Mental Health Foundation by taking part in half an hour of outdoor exercise each day in May. This can include anything from walking, running, jogging and skipping – and remember to appreciate the nature surrounding you.

You are also encouraged to share your experiences by taking a photo or video and joining the discussion on how you’re connecting with nature by using the hashtags #ConnectWithNature #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek.

To discover the best walks in the local Leeds area, have a read of these articles on Leeds List and Yorkshire Evening Post.

College activities

At Leeds City College, we’ll also be celebrating Mental Health Awareness Week through a series of events. 

Our Health and Wellbeing Champion at Quarry Hill Campus, Zoe Webster, will be hosting a ‘Nature and Wellbeing’ webinar on Monday 10 May from 3.30pm to 4.30pm. Complete this booking link and follow this link to attend.  

Helen Llewellyn, who is a Restorative Practice Champion at Park Lane Campus, will be delivering ‘Mindfulness in Green Spaces’ sessions on Tuesday 11 and Thursday 13 May.

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