Change that leads to better lives

Nature: Widening our Window

A perspective on Mental Health Awareness Week

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About 2 weeks into lockdown#3, the staff team at NDTi started sharing pictures of our individual weekly walks on our teams site. Whether it was a call to see beyond our doorsteps or a longing for connection or perhaps a combination of both, it started to widen our window to the world. Things looked a little brighter for seeing other people’s perspectives.

It started us talking again and in a small way, stopped us feeling so isolated as a team. We started our working week looking at what people had been doing at the weekend, it gave us a space to talk collectively and appreciate our surroundings, whether they were urban or rural. We looked for the light. We looked for interesting, for fun, for things that lifted our spirits.

We weren’t alone. According to research by the Mental Health Foundation, half of people in the UK said that being in nature was a favoured way to cope with the stress of the pandemic. This year’s Mental Health Awareness campaign is all about reminding us that being in nature is known to be an effective way of tackling mental health problems and of protecting our wellbeing.

As well as some really helpful tools to identify our personal mental health and wellbeing journey, like the PHE Mind Map, you can get involved by sharing images/videos/or just sound recordings of the nature on your doorstep (and how this made you feel) on social media using #ConnectWithNature and #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek.

It really helped us as a team during the pandemic. Whilst we have some fantastic staff support in our NDTi Mental Health First Aiders and staff wellbeing fund, I hope that this will also be our reminder to continue to go outside into nature and share our different perspectives on the world.

Author: Drew Edwards

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