This year the theme for Mental Health Awareness Week is nature!
The pandemic and lockdowns have affected many people in many different ways. Being in nature is known to be an effective way of improving our mental health and protecting our wellbeing. With the arrival of spring/summer, this is the perfect time to connect with nature.
Nature is any environment in which you can use your senses to experience the natural world. This could include the countryside, a park or garden, coast, lakes and rivers, wilderness, plants or wildlife closer to home. It could also include nature that you can see or interact with in or from your home.
Take a moment. Notice nature around you and try to make a habit of connecting to it every day. Use your senses to experience the natural world. You don’t need to take big steps. You can try small things:
- stop to listen to the birdsong,
- smell the freshly cut grass,
- take care of a house plant,
- notice any trees, flowers or animals nearby.
Appreciate these connections.
Many people find it hard to access nature because of where they live or because they have no outside space. Try to use your local facilities and join initiatives that include outdoor activities. Enjoy the green spaces in Bromley.
If you are struggling with your mental health or feeling worried or anxious, there is lots of help available. Please do reach out and get the support you need:
Explore new parks in Bromley – bromley.gov.uk/directory/4/parks_in_bromley
Free Your Mind – Get access to online resources to help yourself, your loved ones and ideas to look after your wellbeing nhsfreeyourmind.co.uk
Talk Together Bromley – A free NHS talking therapy service for people aged 18 years and over registered with a GP in Bromley, who are anxious, stressed, and/or experience low mood. They provide a range of effective talking therapies over the telephone or online, including one to one therapy sessions and group therapies. You can refer yourself either by calling 0300 003 3000 (leave a message and they will call you back) or completing the online self-referral form talktogetherbromley.co.uk
Kooth – Free, safe and anonymous support for aged 11-25 kooth.com
Mindful Mums – Support for mums to be and new mums blgmind.org.uk/mindful-mums
Support at Bromley Well – Videos, workshops, and advice bromleywell.org.uk/our-services/mental-health-services
Artwork – Let’s connect – Bethlem Gallery is inviting people to send them postcard-sized artworks that have been inspired or informed by their experiences of COVID and lockdown. The postcards will be part of on a public online display. Send to Bethlem Royal Hospital, Monks Orchard Road, Beckenham, BR3 3BX. For further information: email firstname.lastname@example.org – call 0746 450 2784 or visit bethlemgallery.com/whats-on
More information available at mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week